NZ film industry on show in Berlin

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Friday, January 18, 2013

The New Zealand Film Commission congratulates the New Zealand films and filmmakers making up a major Kiwi showcase in Berlin.

New Zealand has a big presence at this year’s festival with two feature films and a short film in official selection, a major international television production being shown in a special screening, five filmmakers attending the talent campus, eight (out of just 24) projects showing in the NATIVe indigenous section and Taika Waititi serving on a jury.

“The Berlinale is one of the oldest and most prestigious festivals on the international calendar” says NZFC Chief Executive Graeme Mason.  “To have such an impressive selection of films and filmmakers on the programme puts the New Zealand film industry front and centre on the world stage”.

Writer/director Daniel Joseph Borgman’s debut feature film The Weight of Elephants, will premiere in the Forum programme of the festival with a cross-section screening in the Generation section.

The Forum is considered the most daring section of the festival, while the Generation programme is thematically and aesthetically linked to the experiences of children and young people.  The Weight of Elephants is produced by production companies Zentropa (Denmark) and Severe Features (New Zealand) and is the first unofficial feature film co-production between these two countries. 

Shopping (pictured) will have its European premiere in the competitive Generation 14plus programme (following its world premiere at Sundance).  Shopping is the debut feature film from Louis Sutherland and Mark Albiston, the writing/directing team between the international award winning shorts Six Dollar Fifty Man and Run.

I’m Going to Mum’s, written and directed by Lauren Jackson, will compete in the Short Films Generation Kplus section.

This year Berlinale has launched "NATIVe - A Journey into Indigenous Cinema", which is focusing on films from Oceania, Australia, North America and the Arctic in 2013. The New Zealand projects selected are:

Features
Boy 
by Taika Waititi - 2010
Ngati by Barry Barclay - 1987
O Le Tulafale (The Oratorby Tusi Tamasese - 2011
Saving Grace, Te Whakarauora Tangata by Merata Mita - 2011 (Documentary)
Short Films
Bastion Point Day 507 
by Merata Mita, Leon Narbey, Gerd Pohlmann - 1980 (Documentary)
Ebony Society by Tammy Davis - 2011
Turangawaewae – A Place to Stand by Peter Burger - 2003
Two Cars, One Night by Taika Waititi - 2004

The NZFC is also pleased to congratulate and support Berlinale Talent Campus attendees Sally Tran, Maria-Elena Doyle, James Hayday, Tammy Davis and Ryan Lloyd as they use the opportunity to further their careers and businesses in their wide-ranging areas of expertise.

The Berlin International Film Festival runs from the 7th to the 17th of February.