The Other State: Film news and etcetera from New Zealand – June 2009

29 Jun

The Short Film

Six Dollar Fifty Man

Six Dollar Fifty Man

Huge congratulations to the team (directors Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland) behind the NZ short film Six Dollar Fifty Man which won a special distinction at Cannes in May. This is only two years after winning the special distinction for the filmmakers previous short Run. Please someone give these guys a real budget – I want to see a feature! link

The Competition

Each year New Zealand’s filmmaking talent is put to the test during the 48 Hours Furious Filmmaking contest. This year’s competition took place over the weekend 8-10 May, with the Grand Final held on the 20th June. The concept is simple – make the best film possible in only 48 hours. All creative aspects of the film must be created in the 48 hours allotted; even genre and other random elements are provided just before the timer starts to prevent any cheating. Now in its 7th year, 48 hours has attracted the attention of Wingnut Films (Peter Jackson’s company) who now sponsor it and often enter a team to keep their talent on its toes.

Here is this years winner, Charlotte, from Dunedin based Team Line Men:

Charlotte is the first animated supreme winner. Here is my pick of the past winners. It’s called Jesse McCleod: The Journey from 2004, and has been described as “a friendly tale of family euthanasia”:

You can read more about the competition, and watch all of the previous winners here.

The Woman

This barely makes it as New Zealand news, as it relates to a British film (Bright Star) that premiered in France (at Cannes) starring an Australian (Abbie Cornish) – but it was directed by New Zealander Jane Campion (who lives in Australia). Whew. As with most ex-pat does good products the buzz in NZ was that Bright Star was set to win the Palme D’Or. While the film is receiving rave reviews from some, it also failed to set others worlds alight. One Little White Lies reviewer lists it in the best and worst: “Biggest Disappointment: That Jane Campion’s Bright Star, a turgid, middle-brow exercise in Quality Filmmaking, so successfully hoodwinked the general public.”

Bright Star will open the 2009 Auckland International Film Festival. I may go. I may also skip it and see Brüno which also comes out that day.

The Peter Jackson Empire

Peter Jackson has a lot on his plate – Lovely Bones is still in post-production, his Dambusters remake is still going ahead, and he is producing The Hobbit. This hasn’t stopped him from taking on a new role: leading a ministerial review of the New Zealand Film Commission. Jackson has been a vocal critic of the commission’s funding decisions in years past, this coupled with the brand new CEO might lead to a few positive changes down at the NZFC… {link}

The Film

Taika Waititi’s follow up to Eagle vs. Shark has just wrapped. The Volcano promises to be full of 1980s coming-of-age awkwardness. The buzz? – it’s gonna be ‘mean’. {link}

The Volcano

The Volcano

– Morgan Stewart


3 Responses to “The Other State: Film news and etcetera from New Zealand – June 2009”

  1. Ronan Macewan June 29, 2009 at 9:50 am #

    i once found a google search for ‘hobbit porn’ saved on my computer.

    I’ve always been confused about this.

    Regardless, thanks for the excellent update Morgan.

  2. Morgan Stewart June 29, 2009 at 5:03 pm #

    That’s the second question on the NZ citizenship test… ‘Porn preference: hobbit or elf’

  3. Ronan Macewan June 30, 2009 at 8:35 am #


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