The creative team behind Beyond the Edge has re-united to bring another story of enormous importance to New Zealanders, to the big screen.
Production has commenced on 25 April, an animated docu/drama that retells the incredible Gallipolli story - from the landing in 1915, to the evacuation in December - through the eyes of six ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corp soldiers) who found themselves a part of one of the most iconic campaigns of the First World War. Not only were battles won and lost, but national identities were formed as Australians and New Zealanders began to question their place in the British Empire.
Written by the film’s director Leanne Pooley (Beyond the Edge 3D The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls, Shackelton’s Captain) with Tim Woodhouse, and produced by Matthew Metcalfe for General Film Corporation (Beyond the Edge, Dean Spanley, Love Birds, Giselle, The Dead Lands) in association with Pitfan Productions. The animation will be created by Auckland, New Zealand company Flux Animation Studios. Flux’s founder/creative director Brent Chambers will lead the animation team.
“Animation gives us the opportunity to bring the men and women who were at Gallipoli back to life. It allows us to really experience what they went through from an entirely new perspective. There are no limitations to how the story can be illustrated. We can create a Gallipoli no one has ever seen before, it's very exciting,” said Pooley.
Chambers describes the animation as “an exciting and innovative approach to storytelling. Overcoming the challenge of creating the epic sense of scale required will involve the team here employing multiple new and varied digital techniques. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Matthew and Leanne, and to be a part of this historic piece of NZ filmmaking."
The New Zealand Film Commission is an investor in the production with Flux Animation Studio, Images and Sound, General Film Corporation and UK based Pitfan Productions. The project is being made with the assistance of the New Zealand Government’s Screen Production Incentive Fund.
"This film comes from a talented and well established team setting-out to tell, in an innovative and original style, what is not just one of New Zealand's defining stories, but what is at heart a universal tale of immense courage against incredible odds," says New Zealand Film Commission Chief Executive Dave Gibson. "It's great to be able to support this project for audiences everywhere to enjoy, whether they be those commemorating New Zealand's role in Gallipoli or international audiences drawn to an amazing story of true heroism."
Metcalfe added "Leanne Pooley is an innovative and exciting director and we are pleased to be working with her again after the success of Beyond the Edge. Combined with the exceptional animation abilities that Flux brings to the project we feel that this will be a unique, marketable and innovative theatrical film for audiences in territories around the world."
K5 International is handling international sales. Transmission Films will release 25 April in New Zealand and Australia in 2015.
K5 International is a one-stop shop for producers. Film veterans Oliver Simon and Daniel Baur founded the dynamic and growing worldwide sales, financing and production company, which has the unique capability to greenlight feature films in collaboration with K5 Media Capital and K5 Film. This recently enabled K5 International to sell and co-finance the Bruce Willis sci-fi action starrer Vice produced by Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films. The company’s credits include The Reluctant Fundamentalist, directed by Mira Nair, starring Kate Hudson and Kiefer Sutherland, which opened the 2012 Venice Film Festival and received a Special Gala Screening at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival; Night Train to Lisbon directed by Bille August with Jeremy Irons, Mélanie Laurent, Charlotte Rampling, Bruno Ganz and Christopher Lee premiered at the Berlinale 2013. The most recent addition is Neil LaBute’s Dirty Weekend, starring Matthew Broderick and Alice Eve. K5 International also has an impressive catalogue of non-fiction feature films to its name, including the Oscar® nominated Cutie and The Boxer; Sundance Audience Award winner Buck, and the acclaimed Harry Belafonte documentary Sing Your Song. The first film K5 International acquired was The Visitor, which earned Richard Jenkins an Oscar® Nomination for best actor in a leading role. Sony Pictures’ 2010 US-box office hit Get Low, starring Robert Duvall, Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek, is another title on K5 International’s slate.
GENERAL FILM CORPORATION
General Film Corporation is an Auckland based production company responsible for such films as Dean Spanley, Love Birds, Giselle, Beyond The Edge and the upcoming The Dead Lands. It is headed by the current SPADA independent producer of the year, Matthew Metcalfe.
NEW ZEALAND FILM COMMISSION
The New Zealand Film Commission makes sure original and culturally significant films are made, encourages talented New Zealand filmmakers through developing career pathways and facilitating connections offshore and works to increase the number of people seeing New Zealand films here and overseas. It supports the growth of economic activity and helps ensure New Zealand has sustainable screen sector businesses operating within an internationally competitive screen sector. The NZFC also helps negotiate co-production treaties and certifies co-productions and New Zealand films for tax purposes. Recent productions include The Orator, Shopping, Beyond the Edge, Giselle, and Mt Zion.
FLUX ANIMATION STUDIOS
Flux Animation was established in 1997 in a basement in Grey Lynn. Flux worked on International TV series and commercials and, growing rapidly, became one of New Zealand’s leading commercial animation houses. Flux has a permanent staff of 21 plus a scalable workforce, and has produced twenty original concept series for TVNZ, including The Adventures of Massey Ferguson, Buzzy Bee and Friends, Wiki the Kiwi, and Tiki Tour. Flux pioneered International Animation Co-production in New Zealand with the 26 x half hour series Stains down Drains and Master Raindrop.
Flux completed animated sequences on the Oscar winning U.S. Paramount Studios cinema release An Inconvenient Truth, and produced the Annie Award nominated Xmas special Hoops and Yoyo Ruin Christmas.
Pitfan Productions is a UK film production company backed by Ingenious Media. Ingenious is a market-leading financial services group providing investment and advisory expertise and is the UK’s largest independent investor in the country’s creative industries. Films and television productions supported by Ingenious in the past include: Avatar, Life of Pi, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Doc Martin and Foyle’s War. Most recently, Ingenious backed Dolphin Entertainment’s Max Steel, and Carol, starring two-times Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.