Stars and film-makers coming to annual film conference in Wellington

News from SPADA
The Screen Production and Development Association Conference celebrates its 20th anniversary in Wellington on Thursday and Friday. The SPADA conference is New Zealand’s leading screen production industry annual event offering its delegates an extensive programme of presentations, workshops and panel discussions with an impressive line up of international and New Zealand screen industry speakers.

SPADA represents New Zealand’s independent film and television practitioners on all issues affecting the business and creative aspects of screen production. A key role involves government advocacy work, advising on screen industry policies and industrial relations negotiations on best practice standards for the screen industry.

To celebrate its 20th anniversary SPADA brings the conference to Wellington where many New Zealand filmmakers launched their careers and where the red carpet is soon be rolled out for The Hobbit world premiere.

At this time of reflection and celebration, the conference is also addressing current issues and challenges with a strong and diverse programme. “This year the conference is focusing on what leads to commercial and creative success in the fast changing world of independent film and television,” says SPADA’s Chief Executive Officer, Penelope Borland. “Most of our key speakers are, or have been, or want to be, actively involved in doing business in New Zealand and a key outcome will be fostering those relationships that lead to new business opportunities.”

Cartoonist and filmmaker Tom Scott (Separation City, Rage) delivers the NZ On Air John O’Shea Memorial Address giving a frank look at his career and the current state of the industry.

International speakers include BAFTA winning television producer Robert Thirkell (Jamie’s School Dinners, Jamie’s Food Revolution, Back to the Floor, Blood on the Carpet); Head of Producing at the UK’s National Film and TV School Chris Auty (Stealing Beauty, Blood and Wine, Crash); Australian producer Al Clark (The Adventures of Priscilla – Queen of the Desert, Blessed, Red Hill); UK’s most experienced sales executive Tim Haslam, Embankment Films; and from New York Emanuel Michael (360, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby), CEO of Unison Films. Emanuel is one of the producers of Taika Waititi’s Boy and What We Do in the Shadows, co-written, co-directed, and co-starring Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords), which has just completed filming in Wellington.

Joining the conference from Beverly Hills is entertainment lawyer Mark Litwak; from Australia’s Hopscotch Films, Rachel Okine; and from Hong Kong Trevor Morris, Head of Film and TV Production for Grand Entertainment, the strategic partner for the New Zealand based Pukeko Pictures. Trevor and Pukeko Pictures’ Martin Baynton (The Wot Wots, Jane and the Dragon) discuss their collaborations, together with Xing Xing Media CEO Lifeng Wang.

SPADA launches a new annual session, REEL LIFE, celebrating the work of a leading New Zealand film practitioner with Wellington-born actor Karl Urban (The Price of Milk, The Lord of the Rings, The Bourne Supremacy, Out of the Blue, Star Trek, Dredd 3D). Karl discusses his impressive acting career with interviewer Finlay Macdonald.

Karl Schodt, technical director at Shotz Productions is running a filming 3D Masterclass. Sessions include film financing, offshore markets, co-productions and film distribution including a case study of Good For Nothing where filmmakers Inge Rademeyer and Mike Wallis talk about handling every aspect of their film from its inception and production through to domestic and international distribution.

Screentime’s Philly de Lacey and Top Shelf’s Vincent Burke present a workshop focusing on informed consent and what constitutes “public interest”: increasingly hot topics with the rise in factual observational programme making.

Māori Television presents a session on the challenge of attracting younger audiences, and NZ On Screen hosts what promises to be a lively panel session on how to galvanise an audience through social media for film and television. Bernadette O’Mahoney, Australian Childrens’ Television Foundation’s Head of Development and Production, is a guest panelist on the children’s drama session.
The Great Screenrights’ Lunch features the ever popular South Pacific Pictures’ Big Pitch, an opportunity for filmmakers to pitch a new project to industry professionals.

Another celebration at the conference is the announcement of the SPADA Industry Awards: the SPADA New Filmmaker of the Year (Principal Sponsor Park Road Post Production), the Crombie Lockwood/MTJ Independent Producer of the Year, and the Onfilm/SPADA Industry Champion.

The longevity of the SPADA Conference is only possible with the generous long-standing support of its Sponsors and Supporters: Official Principal Sponsor New Zealand Film Commission, Premium Sponsor Wellington City Council: Key Sponsors New Zealand On Air, TVNZ, Māori Television, Screenrights, TV3, South Pacific Pictures: Sponsors and Supporters Apex General Ltd, Budget Rent a Car, Crombie Lockwood/MTJ, Event Cinemas, Film Finances, FIUA, Goethe-Institut, Havana, Images & Sound, Johnson & Laird Booking Agents, Onfilm, Panavision, Quitline, The Film Archive, Voyage Affaires: and SPADA’s Premiere Partner Telecom.

Notes for Editors:

1. Formed in 1982, the Screen Production and Development Association of New Zealand (SPADA) represents the collective interests of independent producers and production companies on all issues affecting the business and creative aspects of screen production in New Zealand.

2. SPADA campaigns and negotiates on a variety of issues that are key to the success of the independent production sector, including protecting intellectual property and building on the terms of trade for commissioning, licensing and funding of programmes and films. Recent successes include arrangements with the government broadcasting funding agency, New Zealand on Air, to enable production companies to recoup better returns from international sales.

3. SPADA’s team provides advice on a range of topics including:
- Broadcaster terms of trade and commissioning agreement
- Underlying rights clearances and acquisition
- Umbrella deals
- Pre-sales and co-productions
- Digital media rights
- Anti-piracy activities
- Disputes Resolution

 

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