Katie Wolfe’s This is Her selected for New York Film Festival

9 09 2008

This is Her NZ short film starring Mia Blake as Evie

This is Her NZ short film starring Mia Blake as Evie

Katie Wolfe’s New Zealand short film This is Her has been selected to screen in official selection at the 46th New York Film Festival later this month after premiering in North America at the prestigious 35th Telluride Film Festival last weekend.

This follows nominations for This is Her in all four short film categories of the New Zealand Qantas Film and Television Awards including Best Short Film.

“We are absolutely thrilled that This Is Her has been selected to screen in such important festivals as Telluride and New York. With so many short films being made around the world, it’s a huge honour to be invited to these highly competitive festivals. These selections indicate the strength of the short film’s unique voice,” says NZFC Short Film Manager Juliette Veber.

This Is Her is a 12 minute black tale directed by Katie Wolfe about the bitter aftertaste of love. As she watches her younger self in the throes of childbirth, Evie’s devastatingly wry commentary reveals exactly what life has in store for her, her loving husband, and the six year old bitch who will one day steal his affections and destroy her life. This is Her is written by Kate McDermott and produced by Felicity Letcher and Rachel Lorimer.

“There was a lot of interest in This Is Her at Telluride, and It was heartening to see that the comedy of the film translated into the American sensibility,” says director Katie Wolfe.

“Telluride is a very small, select festival. You get to see a lot of wonderful films, and to interact with amazing filmmakers, in my case Mike Leigh and David Fincher. I also connected with a network of upcoming filmmakers from around the world.”

“Telluride was amazing, and I’m now looking forward to seeing the film with a New York audience, especially as it is playing in the revived Ziegfeld Theatre.”

Producers Rachel Lorimer and Felicity Letcher say This Is Her’s success is a testament to the storytelling talents of Katie, and of writer Kate McDermott, and the efforts of a terrific cast and crew.

“We are absolutely delighted by the response to This Is Her, both at home and overseas. Telluride has a reputation for selecting shorts from new filmmakers who go on to make feature films very quickly. New York is one of the great film festivals.

“It is fantastic to see a contemporary Kiwi story embraced by moviegoers around the world.”

This Is Her screens at the 46th New York Film Festival before the Mexican feature film I’m Gonna Explode (Voy A Explotar). The New York Film Festival showcases inspiring and provocative cinema by emerging talents and first rank international artists whose films are often recognised as contemporary classics. The festival has introduced filmmakers such as Jean-Luc Godard, Martin Scorsese, Francois Truffaut and Wong Kar-Wai to the United States.

This Is Her was funded by the Short Film Fund of the New Zealand Film Commission.

The film premiered at that Edinburgh International Film Festival earlier this year, and has screened at the New Zealand International Film Festival and the Melbourne International Film Festival.

The 46th New York Film Festival runs 26 September to 12 October 2008, for more information see http://www.filmlinc.com/nyff/nyff.html


Strong year sees TVNZ back in profit

3 09 2008

Television New Zealand made an after tax profit of $19.4 million for the financial year ended June 2008, Chief Executive Rick Ellis said today.

This was from operating earnings before non recurring items, interest, tax and financial instruments of $27 million, which represents a $14.3 million turnaround or a 112 % increase over the prior year.

Mr Ellis said the strong result was off the back of higher advertising revenues from higher channel ratings and getting the organisation’s costs under control.

Mr Ellis said the annual result meant TVNZ achieved a return on average equity of 8.3%, which was ahead of the 6.4 % target set for the year.

TVNZ would be paying a $10.3 million dividend to the Crown.

Excluding Government funding for the digital channels, total income for the year was $379.7 million, an increase of $4.7 million (or 1.3%) over the prior year. The primary driver of this increase was a $2.7 million (0.9%) increase in advertising revenue.

Excluding costs for the digital channels which are covered by Government funding, total expenses were $352.6 million for the year, a reduction of $9.7 million (2.7%) on the prior year’s operating costs.

That means TVNZ had a year on year improvement in earnings (before non recurring items, interest, tax and financial instruments) of $14.4 million from the $4.7 million improvement in income and the $9.7 million of cost reduction from the core business.

“Our revenue targets for the year were all exceeded. This is year one of the TVNZ three year turnaround plan and it’s a credit to a highly motivated and focussed staff working to a well thought out strategy,” he said.

“Our increase in advertising revenue is particularly pleasing given the broadcasting of the 2007 Rugby World Cup occurred on a competing channel in September and October 2007 and the market conditions in the latter part of the financial year. TVNZ television advertising revenues were strong in the second half of the year with a year on year increase of 3.4 % for the January to June period.

“While the economic outlook for the 2009 financial year is challenging for many New Zealand businesses we are cautiously optimistic about the environment and confident in our abilities and plans.”

He said local content hours on TV ONE and TV 2 were at similar levels to the previous year at 4,867 compared with 4,822 and 15 of the 20 top rating programmes for the year were on TVNZ channels. It was particularly pleasing that 17 of the 20 top rating programmes on TV ONE were locally produced.

That quantity of local content doesn’t count the impact of TVNZ 6 and TVNZ 7 and is more than three times TVNZ’s nearest rivals.

“We’ve had a very strong year on screen. Our flagship ONE News at 6pm has had consistent lifts in its ratings, shows like Dancing With The Stars have proved extremely popular, coverage of major events like Sir Edmund Hillary’s state funeral captivated the public and the launch of TVNZ 6 and TVNZ 7 has enabled TVNZ to extend its range of programmes and its value to New Zealanders as the country’s public broadcaster.”

He said TVNZ continued to work hard on its strategy of ‘inspiring New Zealanders on every screen’ with commercial deals signed with Bebo, Google, Telecom, Fairfax, South Pacific Pictures, Greenstone Pictures and Chinese Television.

TVNZ ondemand had become enormously popular in the space of 18 months with 30,000 hours of television watched on average each month, while tvnz.co.nz. has monthly average unique visitors of 826,000.

He said other highlights included:
*higher than anticipated uptake of digital platform Freeview, of which TVNZ is the largest shareholder;
*the beginning of a $30 million investment in TVNZ’s digital infrastructure;
*conducting the first statutory review of the TVNZ Charter;
*the use for the first time in the annual report of a framework to measure TVNZ’s delivery of the Charter; and
*more than 600 hours of content broadcast to 14 Pacific nation broadcasters via the TVNZ Pacific Service.

N.B. This is the first year that TVNZ has used the new New Zealand International Financial Reporting Standards.

Department of Conservation and TVNZ 6 Family combine for events

27 08 2008

Kiwi children will be able to learn more about their local wildlife and wild places during Meet the Locals Conservation Week celebrations at Auckland Zoo on September 7 and Wellington Zoo on September 14.

The events are the brainchild of the Department of Conservation (DOC) and TVNZ 6 Family, and an extension of the partnership they formed with the Meet the Locals television series.

The series, currently screening on TVNZ 6 Family, introduces viewers to New Zealand’s native species – local plants, local animals and the local humans who love to look after them.

The Department of Conservation’s General Manager of Marketing and Communications, Sue Paterson, said Meet the Locals had proved to be a fantastic way of engaging Kiwis in the importance of conservation, and their partnership with TVNZ 6 is helping DOC to reach a wider audience.

“Meet the Locals Conservation Week is another great opportunity to work with TVNZ 6 to extend the Meet the Locals message into the wider community. At the zoo events children and their parents will be able to learn more about their environment and its inhabitants and see species like kiwi and tuatara up close.”

TVNZ General Manager Digital Services, Eric Kearley said partnerships such as the one TVNZ 6 enjoys with DOC were important in ensuring TVNZ’s digital channels delivered local and relevant content.

“Our relationship with DOC has produced some fantastic local content for TVNZ 6 and helped spread the conservation message via television to young New Zealanders in particular. Celebrating Meet the Locals Conservation Week through the events at Auckland and Wellington Zoos is taking our partnership to another level by bringing the TV show to life.”

Mr Kearley said TVNZ 6’s partnership with DOC was possible because the two organisations measured success in terms of public value.

“We’re hoping to develop more relationships with other like-minded organisations that share the same public value ethos,” he said.

For more information on Meet the Locals Conservation Week activity:
visit www.conservationweek.org.nz

Toa Fraser’s Dean Spanley feature film to premiere in Toronto

20 08 2008

Peter O’Toole and friend in a scene from Toa Fraser’s Dean Spanley, NZ 2008

Peter O’Toole and friend in a scene from Toa Fraser’s Dean Spanley, NZ 2008

Confirming its position as the prime North American launch pad, the Toronto International Film Festival has added more world premieres to its line-up. Among the new titles announced today is director Toa Fraser’s Dean Spanley starring 8-times Academy Award nominee, Peter O’Toole.

The film will have a red carpet Gala screening during the opening weekend in Toronto, on Saturday 6 September.

Dean Spanley joins a select list of others premiering at Toronto, including new films from critically acclaimed filmmakers Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Mira Nair, Brett Ratner, Caroline Link and Anees Bazmee and feature performances by Brad Pitt, Rachel McAdams, John Malkovich, Julie Christie, Vincent Cassel, Ellen Burstyn, Edward Norton, Christina Ricci, Colin Farrell, Akshay Kumar, Jon Voight, Scarlett Johansson, James Caan, Natalie Portman, George Clooney, Jeremy Northam, Kate Beckinsale, Alan Alda, Matt Dillon, Tim Robbins, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Angela Bassett.

The Gala programme is described by the Festival as a ‘high profile showcase of films with major impact’. The film will premiere at the 2,600 seat theatre, the Roy Thomson Hall. This is the first time a NZ feature film will have a Gala screening at Toronto, which is the most exalted slot the festival offers.

“The gala screening represents a spectacular launching pad for Dean Spanley” says director Toa Fraser. “We put our hearts and souls into making the movie and I can’t wait to see it up there on the big screen at one of the world’s most prestigious festivals.”

Toa Fraser will be in Toronto to introduce his film along with his cast – Peter O’Toole, Jeremy Northam, Sam Neill and Bryan Brown. They will be joined by screenwriter Alan Sharp and producers Matthew Metcalfe and Alan Harris.

Set in the early 1900s, Dean Spanley is a whimsical, poignant tale of a father and son, and their encounters with an eccentric stranger.

NZ Film, which is the sales arm of the NZ Film Commission, is handling world sales of the film.

Dean Spanley will be released in Australia and New Zealand early 2009 by Transmission Films in association with Paramount Pictures.

Following Toronto, the subsequent Canadian release of the film is being handled by of Alliance Pictures (The World’s Fastest Indian; The Lord of the Rings).

A UK-NZ co-production, Dean Spanley was financed by Aramid Entertainment, the NZ Film Commission’s Film Fund 2, Lipsync Productions and Screen East. Executive Producers are David Parfitt, Finola Dwyer, Simon Fawcett and Alan Sharp.

The thirty-third annual Toronto International Film Festival will be held from September 3 to 13, 2008.

TVNZ apologises for Olympic broadcast glitch during Men’s 200m Butterfly Final

13 08 2008

TVNZ apologises to viewers who missed the end of the Men’s 200metre Butterfly final in which Kiwi swimmer Moss Burmester was placed fourth.

A switching failure at the TVNZ headquarters in Auckland meant that viewers receiving the broadcast via satellite – either through SKY or on Freeview – missed the race

Viewers with analogue transmission in the South Island were also affected.

Live streaming on tvnz.co.nz – which uses a satellite feed – was disrupted.

The satellite outage lasted for about 6 minutes, and the South Island analogue viewers lost reception for about 8 minutes.

The race was replayed on TV ONE shortly after 3pm, and is now available for viewing on tvnz.co.nz.

TVNZ says it greatly regrets that a technical failure has interfered with New Zealanders’ appreciation of Moss Burmester’s tremendous effort.

All broadcasters undertaking technically complex transmissions run the risk of occasional switching failures, but the company says everyone involved is distressed at the timing of the glitch.

Beijing Olympics huge success for TVNZ

12 08 2008

The Beijing Olympics has attracted spectacular television audiences with over 2.6 million New Zealanders tuning in to TV ONE’s coverage over the weekend.

Since its opening in the early hours of Saturday morning, Beijing 2008 has delivered 29% higher ratings than Athens 2004.

“This is an outstanding result,” says TVNZ’s Head of Television Jeff Latch.

“New Zealanders love the Olympics – they love getting involved in worldwide sporting events, and supporting our Kiwi athletes. And there is no better way to share in those great Olympic moments from here than to watch them on television.”

ONE News also gained stellar ratings over the weekend with its Olympic highlights, achieving a 52% share in the 25-54 demographic last night and a rating of 21.

TVNZ’s dedicated Olympics site on tvnz.co.nz is also proving hugely popular.

Over the weekend TVNZ’s Olympics site yielded more than half a million page impressions and over 80,000 unique browsers each day – four times the anticipated traffic for the opening weekend.

TVNZ is New Zealand’s official broadcaster of and online partner for Beijing 2008. New Zealanders can choose to watch the Olympics coverage on TV ONE, TVNZ Sport Extra on Freeview Channel 20, and on any of four live streaming channels on tvnz.co.nz.
For schedule information go to tvnz.co.nz/Olympics.

Beijing Olympics TV Highlights Second Week 2008

7 08 2008

Geoff Bryan and Peter Williams will be presenting the 2008 Summer Olympics LIVE from Beijing.

Highlights from the second week will include:

Saturday 16 August – Day 8: Women’s Hockey (NZ v USA); Track & Field; Swimming Finals; Rowing; Track Cycling; and Sailing Finals.

Sunday 17 August – Day 9: Women’s Marathon; Swimming Finals; Track Cycling; Rowing; Track & Field; and Equestrian.

Monday 18 August – Day 10: Women’s Triathlon; Men’s Beach Volleyball; Canoe/Kayak; Track Cycling; Equestrian; Synchronised Swimming (Duet Technical Routine, NZers Nina and Lisa Daniels); Sailing (Men’s and Women’s Windsurfing, NZers Barbara Kendall, Tom Ashley; and Men’s Two-Person Dinghy, NZers Peter Burling, Karl Evans); and Track & Field (Women’s Discus Final; Men’s 200m Round 2; Women’s Pole Vault Final; and Women’s 800m Final).

Tuesday 19 August – Day 11: Men’s Triathlon; Men’s Hockey (NZ v Germany); Beach Volleyball (Women’s Semi-finals); Canoe/Kayak; Synchronised Swimming (Duet Free Routine, NZers Nina and Lisa Daniels); Diving (Men’s 3m Springboard Final); Trampoline (Men’s Final); Football (Men’s Semi-final); Sailing (Men’s and Women’s Single-handed Dinghy, NZers Andrew Murdoch, Jo Aleh); Track & Field (Women’s 5000m Round 1; Men’s 200m Semi-finals; and Men’s 1500m Final).

Wednesday 20 August – Day 12: Cycling (BMX); Beach Volleyball (Men’s Semi-finals); Waterpolo (Men’s Quarter-finals); Canoe/Kayak; Sailing (Men’s and Women’s Windsurfing Finals); Women’s Hockey Semi-finals; and Track & Field (Men’s 5000m Round 1, NZer Adrian Blencoe; and Men’s 200m Final).

Thursday 21 August – Day 13: Taekwondo Finals; Cycling (BMX Semi-finals); Swimming (Men’s 10k; and Marathon); Beach Volleyball (Women’s Medal Matches); Sailing (Men’s Keelboat Star Race, NZers Hamish Pepper, Carl Williams); Equestrian (Individual Jumping Final Round); Diving (Women’s 10m Platform Final); Track & Field (Women’s 1500m Semi-finals; Men’s 800m Final; Men’s 400m Final; Women’s 200m Final; and Women’s 4 x 400m Relay Round 1).

Friday 22 August – Day 14: Track & Field (Men’s 50km Walk); Beach Volleyball (Men’s Medal Matches); Cycling (Mountain Bike – Women’s Cross-country); Canoe/Kayak; Hockey (Women’s Medal Matches); Table Tennis (Women’s Singles Gold); Track & Field (Women’s 5000m Final; Women’s Long Jump Final; Men’s Pole Vault Final; Men’s 4 x 1400m Relay Round 2; Women’s 4 x 100m Relay Final).

Times are subject to change. Visit tvnz.co.nz/Olympics for up-to-date information.