New Utu and Wellington vampires – selected for European premieres at Berlin

News from NZFC
Geoff Murphy’s Utu Redux, the newly restored version of his 1983 classic feature, has been selected to screen next month in the Berlin Film Festival. Also screening, the Wellington vampire movie What We Do In the Shadows directed by Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, and the new short Eleven.

The New Zealand Film Commission is delighted to be able to support the talented filmmakers behind these New Zealand films and to help their work be showcased internationally.

“This is an exciting line-up of both films and international selections,” says the NZFC’s new chief executive Dave Gibson. “In particular these selections illustrate filmmakers at different stages of their careers, and sit alongside other prestigious premieres at Palm Springs, Clermont-Ferrand, Rotterdam and Sundance”.

In Berlin, What We Do In The Shadows will have its European premiere in the Generation 14plus competition section of the festival. As well as sharing writing and directing credits, Waititi and Clement appear in the film alongside Jonathon Brugh, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer and Stu Rutherford. The film has received strong reviews from its world premiere screening at the Sundance Film Festival. It was produced by Waititi, Chelsea Winstanley and Emanuel Michael and received post-production funding from the New Zealand Film Commission. International sales are being handled by Wild Bunch.

Geoff Murphy’s re-mastered western classic Utu Redux is one of two films selected to screen as part of the festival’s NATIVe series – A Journey into Indigenous Cinemas. This series is devoted to diverse historical, cultural, political, artistic and economic aspects of indigenous cinema.

Originally released in 1983, Utu has been enhanced and restored for cinema exhibition in modern digital format under the title Utu Redux. Utu was the first New Zealand film to be invited into official selection in the main programme at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1983, its New Zealand box office take was second only to Murphy’s previous film, Goodbye Pork Pie.

Utu Redux had its world premiere in Wellington in July as the opening film of the New Zealand International Film Festival. The film was funded by the initial equity partners in the production of the original film: the New Zealand Film Commission, the New Zealand Film Archive and Park Road Post Production.

Short film Eleven will have its world premiere in the Generation Kplus section of the festival. Written and produced by first-time filmmakers Kate Prior and director Abigail Greenwood, Eleven was funded through the New Zealand Film Commission’s Fresh Shorts scheme.

New Zealand films Mt Zion and Everything We Loved will also premiere in the festival’s European Film Market (EFM). The EFM is the first annual industry meet-up and opens the international film year. It is one of the most important platforms for international trade in film distribution rights and audiovisual content and takes place during the Berlin International Film Festival.

Written and directed by Tearepa Kahi and produced by Quinton Hita, Mt Zion won the 2013 Flicks People’s Choice Award for Best Film at the New Zealand Motion Picture Industry Council (NZMPIC) awards and also picked up the NZ Box Office Achievement Award, for the highest grossing New Zealand film of 2013.

Max Currie’s debut feature film, Everything We Loved, screened to capacity audiences at its world premiere screening at this month’s Palm Springs International Film Festival. The film was produced by Tom Hern and financed through the New Zealand Film Commission’s Escalator scheme. International sales are being handled by French sales agency, Celluloid Dreams.

A second Escalator film, Fantail, will have its international premiere at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, which runs from 22 January to 2 February. Written by Sophie Henderson, who also appears in the lead role, the film is a debut feature for director Curtis Vowell and producer Sarah Cook. Fantail received strong reviews when it screened in last year’s New Zealand International Film Festival.

Short film Killing Philip, has been selected to screen in the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival, the world’s leading film festival dedicated to short films, which runs from 31 January to 8 February. Written and directed by Adam Gunser and produced by Declan Cahill, it screened in September at the Vladivostock Film Festival.

The Berlin International Film Festival runs from 6 – 16 February.

 

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