Press Release – New Zealand Film Commission
Animals, astronomy, mate-ship, ice, religion and love are some of the subject’s explored in this year’s selection of New Zealand films at the NZ International Film Festival, which opens in Wellington on July 26.
Announced so far are 16 features and 28 shorts by New Zealand filmmakers – all of them brand new to local audiences and 36 having their world premiere as part of the festival.
The opening weekend of the Film Festival in Wellington will celebrate the enhancement and restoration of Geoff Murphy’s 1983 historic epic UTU. Re-presented as UTU Redux , the edit has been refreshed, the soundtrack remixed and the picture re-mastered for the film’s 30th anniversary at the film festival.
Wellington audiences will also be able to see Daniel Joseph Borgman’s beautiful debut feature film The Weight of Elephants, which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February and is currently in theatres in Denmark; and Stephanie Beth’s thought-provoking Us and the Game Industry, which premiered last month at the Dances with Films Festival in LA.
Toa Fraser’s feature film of the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s version of Giselle screens in the festival in Wellington to mark the company’s 60th birthday year.
The New Zealand Film Commission congratulates all the independently and NZFC funded films selected for this internationally renowned festival in its 42nd year.
“This is a fantastic result for New Zealand film” says NZFC Chief Executive Graeme Mason. “This long list of local offerings, from shorts to features of every genre, gives plenty for filmmakers to celebrate and filmgoers to enjoy.”
Twenty-eight New Zealand short films will reach audiences through several avenues at the festival this year. Last year the festival successfully launched its short film competition New Zealand’s Best which this year showcases the talent of six emerging filmmakers to local audiences.
Also returning is the Nga Whanaunga Maori Pasifika short film programme – a collection of indigenous work from New Zealand and Australia curated by Leo Koziol of Wairoa Film Festival in collaboration with the festival – this year the programme premieres six New Zealand short films. Shadow Lands, a programme of short films by New Zealand filmmakers exploring mysterious landscapes and shadowy figures, will premiere two films.
In addition the Festival has programmed a number of short films in front of features. Ranging from live action to mixed media and animation, these films bring to the audience’s attention the variety and strength of New Zealand filmmaking.