Wellington Scoop

Two Wellington short films to premiere at Tribeca Film Festival in New York

Press Release – New Zealand Film Commission
The New Zealand short films ‘43,000 Feet’ and ‘Whakatiki’ are to have their World Premiere’s at next month’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

Whakatiki (written by Bernadette Murphy, directed by Louise Leitch and produced by Melissa Dodds) tells the story of Kiri, an overweight Maori woman, who takes a trip with family and friends to the Whakatiki River where she spent many summers as a girl. The place awakens powerful memories for Kiri and as tensions mount, she draws on her spiritual connection to the river to rise up and reconnect with her true self. Whakatiki was one of only seven films worldwide, and the only short film, to be awarded post-production funds through the 25th Annual Women In Film Foundation’s Film Finishing Fund which partners with Netflix, Inc.

43,000 Ft (written by Matthew Harris, directed by Campbell Hooper and produced by Heather Lee and Amber Easby) is a mix of live action and animation that follows a tough day in the life of statistician John Wilkins who is the victim of a freak accident, sucked out of a plane when an emergency door fails mid-flight. Calculating that he has exactly 3 minutes and 48 seconds before impact he reflects on his past, formulates a plan for hitting the ground, and rehearses what he will say to the media on the off chance he survives.

Whakatiki and 43,000 Ft were selected from more than 2,800 submissions and will compete with another 58 films from 25 countries and territories.

“With a terrific balance of comedy and drama in the programs, this year’s shorts lineup is sure to take Tribeca’s audiences on an amazing ride, twisting between narrative invention, documentary insights, and experimental landscapes,” said Sharon Badal, the festival’s Head of Shorts Programming. “We’re thrilled to have so many international short films in this year’s selections, particularly from countries whose work may be new to our filmgoers.”

The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) was established in 2003 by a group of New York film makers that includes Robert De Niro, is a highlight on the international film festival circuit. Works selected for the 2012 TFF shorts slate are eligible to compete for combined cash and value-in-kind prizes totaling more than $10,000 and the recipient of TFF’s Best Narrative Short award will qualify for consideration in the Short Films category of the annual Academy Awards®, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules.

’43,000 Ft’ starring Dylan Pharazyn was funded through the New Zealand Film Commission’s (NZFC) Premiere Shorts scheme and produced through production company Special Problems. Executive Producers are Robert Sarkies and Vicky Pope from Big Shorts. http://www.tribecafilm.com/filmguide/43_000_feet-film38541.html

Whakatiki starring Mabelle Dennison and Jim Moriarty was shot on 16mm on location at Kaitoke Regional Park, Wellington. It was funded through the Independent Filmmakers Fund, a partnership between Creative New Zealand and the NZFC. Whakatiki was also supported by Fuji Film and Xtreme Forwarding. Post production funding was provided by the NZFC, with an additional small grant sponsored by Netflix provided through Women in Film Los Angeles – Film Finishing Fund. http://www.tribecafilm.com/filmguide/whakatiki-film37416.html

The NZFC is supporting both film making teams to attend Tribeca Film Festival which runs April 18-29, 2012. http://www.tribecafilm.com/

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