Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland’s debut feature film, Shopping, will have its European premiere in the competitive Generation 14plus programme of the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival, which runs from the 7 – 17th of February. The Festival ranks in the top tier of European festivals and arguably in the top five worldwide.
Shopping will have its world premiere in January in the World Cinema Dramatic competition of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
Albiston and Sutherland are the writing/directing team behind acclaimed New Zealand shorts The Six Dollar Fifty Man and Run. Both films were honoured by the Cannes Short Film jury with a Special Distinction in the Short Film Competition at the 2009 and 2007 (respectively) Cannes International Film Festival. In 2010 The Six Dollar Fifty Man was honoured with a Special Mention at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival – Generation Kplus, received the Jury Prize for International Short Filmmaking at the Sundance Film Festival and was long-listed for the 2011 Academy Awards. Albiston and Sutherland were recipients of the New Zealand Arts Foundation’s 2010 New Generation Awards.
Set in New Zealand 1981, muscle cars, racial tensions and a thieving bird all inform the small town life of brothers Willie and Solomon. After a chance encounter with charismatic thief Bennie and his close-knit gang of ‘shoppers’, Willie is seduced into a criminal world that allows him to escape mounting tensions with his volatile father. But as Bennie’s hold over him grows, Willie finds himself in over his head; and when Solomon is left to fend for himself at home, Willie’s two worlds collide with shattering consequences.
Shopping was shot earlier this year on the Kapiti Coast and in Wellington, New Zealand. The film’s cast includes Jacek Koman (Moulin Rouge, Australia, Defiance, The Hunter) as Bennie, Alistair Browning (Rain) as Terry and introduces Kevin Paulo as Willie and Julian Dennison as Solomon.
Produced by Warp Films Australia’s Anna McLeish and Sarah Shaw (producers of Cannes awarded Snowtown), Shopping was financed by the New Zealand Film Commission with support from Fulcrum Media Finance. It will be distributed in New Zealand and Australia by Madman Entertainment with a New Zealand theatrical release currently scheduled for 2013. NZ Film, the sales arm of the NZFC, is handling world sales of the film. Over 40 New Zealand films have premiered at Berlin including An Angel at My Table (1991), Two Cars, One Night (2004), No. 2 (2006), Eagle vs Shark (2007), Boy and This Way of Life (2010).