Filmmaker Gregory King off to Amsterdam for latest project

10 07 2008

Award winning New Zealand filmmaker Gregory King has won selection to the prestigious Binger Film Lab in Amsterdam to develop a new feature film project Tane’s Krystal.

The Binger Film Lab is a leading international film development centre staffed by a line up of internationally acclaimed mentors and advisors. Once each year a handful of outstanding film projects chosen amongst hundreds of applicants from around the world are developed within the intense hothouse environment it provides.

King said the news was a big shot in the arm “ I was really surprised to get in considering how tough it is to gain selection now, it’s a great validation in the projects worth and promise and its definitely given me a new lease of life and strong incentive to keep making films”

The film King will develop at the Binger Film Lab, Tane’s Krystal, is a spiritual odyssey through time and space, which follows the extraordinary fate of Eighteenth Century soldier, poet and philanderer, Nikolaus Von Puttkamer, from his beginnings in 18th Century Europe through to his adventures in pre-European and 21st Century New Zealand and beyond.

“We are very honored and excited to have Gregory at The Binger Film lab this year”, says Binger Film lab director Ido Abram. ” His new project Tane’s Krystal again reveals Greg’s originality and power as a writer / director and we are looking forward to supporting and being part of his next project.”

Gregory’s latest film, A Song Of Good, was funded through the low budget digital scheme, Headstrong and recently had its world premier at the Rotterdam International Film Festival where it played to sell out audiences. It has gone on to play at film festivals around the world. A Song Of Good has been selected to play in the New Zealand International Film Festivals in July and August. To see screening details pick up a programme or visit the website online at


New Incentive Fund available to NZ Film and TV producers

3 07 2008

The NZFC today welcomed news that funds from the Screen Production Incentive Fund (SPIF) will be available to New Zealand film and television producers from next week.

SPIF is designed to support the production of New Zealand-driven feature film, television and animation projects that have significant levels of private and/or international finance.

NZFC Chairman David Cullwick says the scheme is essential if New Zealand is to stay competitive with Australia, where a similar scheme (Producer Offset Scheme) was introduced last year.

“The film industry is of huge importance to New Zealanders and is one of our fastest growing, high-value industries.

“SPIF, which will be administered by the NZFC, is a welcome edition to the suite of financial support mechanisms available to screen producers in New Zealand,” says Dr Cullwick.

Full guidelines and criteria for the fund are now available on the Film Commission’s website

For more information please contact David Cullwick 021 426 362

Help local company Raw Films make their first short film

2 07 2008

The New Zealand film industry thrives with an independent spirit. In a sense, the industry is ‘run by volunteers’. Because many are willing to lend their services to the cause. Its possible that an aspiring filmmaker with a short film on their agenda will benefit. Industry professionals maintain the gap between logic and charity. As a result, local filmmakers find the community approachable and ask for help. In an attempt to generate funding for their short film Shades of Gray, producer Rachel Wills and director Vanessa Wood appeared on ALT Television last Sunday. They offered viewers the opportunity to get directly involved with the making of a New Zealand short film. And invited the New Zealand community at large to offer their personal touch. The pair inspire confidence. And promise to channel their expertise into a heartfelt story that people can relate to.

‘Shades of Gray’ is a gripping drama about a young woman’s struggle to reunite with an orthodox Christian family she no longer feels part of. The reunion goes pear shaped when the woman finds herself pregnant and dumped by her boyfriend, just as her mother predicted. Fear of total rejection by her family prevents the young woman from trusting them with the truth about her predicament and instead, she faces the hardest moral decision of her life alone and in a race against time.

Having already secured private investment, they ask the public for their involvement. Their production company Raw Films supports an interactive web based initiative. Once willing contributors log onto their website they can help in exchange for screen credit and an invitation to the film’s premiere. Rachel and Vanessa will be eternally grateful to contributors who donate money, provide labour or gift items on their wishlist. You can even help provide the necessary support for New Zealand woman, as Rachel and Vanessa promise to give 10% of the film’s profit to charity.

I appeared on air with Rachel and Vanessa. And what immediately struck me was their passion and their commitment to socially aware storytelling. The company name ‘Raw Films’ signals to me, something paired back, truthful, or more broadly, the grass root, independent spirit. There’s a clear vision at work here. A story about abortion that isn’t told in the same vein as hokey television movies, tugging on heartstrings with soapy visuals. Vanessa has something much more neutral up her sleeves, something unassuming. And I don’t think its her intention to imitate the indie cool vibe that so often courts the Sundance Film Festival, like Juno and Little Miss Sunshine. So watch this space. Because I sincerely hope they reach their financial goal and the project can accelerate from production and beyond, to where the New Zealand audience can experience an artfully told story. And I certainly hope we can be proud to call it Kiwi.

Written by Lewis Bostock

Please digg this article.

C4 to feature 48 Hours Film competition TV Special

2 07 2008

‘The V’ 48HOURS is officially the largest filmmaking competition in the Southern Hemisphere. Now in its sixth year, the competition is drawing to a thrilling conclusion on July 3rd at 8.30pm on C4 Television. The two hour TV special was created by Two Heads and is jammed packed with all the cheers and tears of what 48HOURS entails. There are team profiles, behind the scenes action, spotlights on Animation, Maori and Teen Teams, Special awards and the nine competing short films.

Filmmakers from around New Zealand are competing for a Grand Prize package worth over $100,000.

Peter Jackson has selected his Wildcard shorts for this years ‘V’ 48HOURS Grand National Final. His choices will compete alongside the City Winners from Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Gisborne, Christchurch and Dunedin.

The first wildcard is Team Lense Flare with their time travel short called BEYOND BELIEF. An apt title for the team who were chosen last year as a wildcard and ended up going on to be crowned Grand Champions. All eyes will be on the Grand Final to see if they can pull off the biggest back to back victory ever.

There is strong competition coming from three time Grand Finalists Smashing Pants, a Wellington team who could live the ultimate cliché and make it third time lucky. They’ll have to get past six year veterans of the competition, Fractured Radius, a team coined after their director broke his wrist in their debut short back in 2003. And then there are the sleeping giants, the unassuming Guerilla Monkeys from Hamilton and the soon-to-be-known but extremely assured Spooce Media:The Real McCoy from Christchurch. Dunedin has newcomers The Dangly Gruffnuts and Gisborne has Team Kaiti Hill, a husband and wife team who might just win on charm alone.

An international judging panel of film experts will decide just who will be the Grand Champion for 2008. The judges include Mimi Brody from UCLA Film Archive, Livia Bloom the curator of Moving Image Centre in NYC, Michael Koller from the Melbourne Cinematheque, Doug Jones from LA Film Festival, Tim League from Fantastic Fest and Mitch Davis from Fantasia Film Festival.

One of the nine shorts below only one will be crowned Grand National Champ 2008.

The End by Fractured Radius (Auckland)
A man tries to keep the script to his final moments just perfect

Sum Of All Parts by Guerilla Monkeys (Hamilton)
A creepy tale of obsessive love and body parts

le dernier jour de Tony (Tony’s Last Day) by Kaiti Hill (Gisborne, Tairawhiti)
A wry look at a kiwi abroad

Darlene by Smashing Pants (Wellington)
A troubled youth, some stolen goods and love

The Real McCoy Agent Post:
Or How I Stopped Being Pretentious And Learned To Love Cliche by Spooce Media (Christchurch)
Ken & Barbie meet Michale Bay and things blow up

Two Bodies, One Night by Dangly Gruffnuts (Dunedin)
Nothing like an unwanted stiff to ruin your night

Beyond Belief by Lense Flare (Peter Jackson Wildcard)
Witness the unbelievable but true story of the backward man

+ The final two Wildcards will be revealed July 3rd in the Time Out section of the NZ Herald.

‘V’ 48HOURS – C4, JULY 3RD, 8.30pm – Rated M for aMazing

If home viewers don’t agree with our esteemed Judges they can cast their votes after the Grand Final at The team that gets the most votes wins a thousand bucks.

Hundreds of teams compete. Hundreds of thousands watch.


Search on for 35mm print of “What Dreams May Come”

1 07 2008

The hunt is on in New Zealand and Australia to find a 35mm print of Vincent Ward’s feature film What Dreams May Come. Universal Film Studios confirmed this week that their only copies of the film were destroyed in the June 1st store house fire.

Produced in 1999 and starring Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jnr and Max von Sydow, the film was a box office success and received two Academy Award nominations, winning the Oscar for Best Visual Effects. What Dreams May Come is scheduled to screen as part of a Retrospective of Ward’s work at the Era New Horizons International Film Festival in Wroclaw, Poland from the 17 – 27 July. Ward will attend the festival as their guest of honour.

Unable to find any print copies of the film in the US and Europe, the festival is now urgently seeking a replacement in NZ and Australia. If you can help find a print of What Dreams May Come, please contact Joanna Lapinska, Artistic Director, Era New Horisons IFF,

NZ film commission welcomes increased film fund

23 05 2008

The New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) welcomes the increased funding being made available to filmmakers of medium-scale films with approved New Zealand content, and the further impetus that it should create.

“The Commission views it as a positive response to the Australian Producer Offset Scheme which had potentially put at risk some filmmaking capability in New Zealand,” said NZFC Chairman David Cullwick.

The NZFC looks forward to working closely with filmmakers and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage to finalise implementation details over the next few weeks.

Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro invite to live internet chat

22 05 2008

Peter Jackson Hobbit Invite
Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro invite you to a live internet chat about The Hobbit.

Peter and Guillermo would love to answer your questions and hear your comments about their new adventure into Middle-Earth.

Please register now – to make sure you don’t miss out on the Unexpected Party and get regular updates on the movies.

Weta are excited to be hosting this one-hour live online chat on their website Please check the start time for your time zone below:

Los Angeles (Pacific) Saturday 24 May 1 pm
New York (Eastern) Saturday 24 May 4 pm
London Saturday 24 May 9 pm
Paris, Berlin, Rome Saturday 24 May 10 pm
Sydney Sunday 25 May 6 am
Wellington, Auckland Sunday 25 May 8 am