It was yet another success story for the New Zealand contingent at this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival.
Melbourne is an integral festival on the international calendar, allowing more New Zealand filmmakers to connect with their international counterparts without huge travel costs. Accordingly we often have a large number of New Zealanders at the main festival, on panels, in the Breakthru screening programme, in Accelerator and involved in the 37° South Market.
This year Tim Sanders (pictured) won top prize at the market with The Guinea Pig Club, giving him a slot to attend the prestigious London Production Finance Market (PFM) in October. Three places in the PFM are awarded each year for producers attending Melbourne, selected by the votes of international financiers/buyers.
The Escalator supported low-budget feature Fantail built on its success at the New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) with a very popular Breakthru screening leading to a number of conversations with prospective international partners interested in the film and its talented team in attendance (writer/lead actor Sophie Henderson, director Curtis Vowell and producer Sarah Cook).
In the main festival directors Mark Albiston and Daniel Borgman were there supporting screenings of their respective features Shopping and The Weight of Elephants. Both Shopping and The Weight of Elephants are enjoying a very strong festival run, which has included the A-list festival Berlin.
Short films Friday Tigers (NZ’s Best at the NZIFF 2013), Maul, Wide Eyed and the short documentary Home also screened within the programme and were very well received by full houses.
Our Development Executive Chris Payne served on a panel entitled State of Play - Accross the Ditch, and Chris and our former Development Executive Katherine Fry (now Melbourne-based Development Consultant) served on the State of Play - Filmlab & Escalator Focus panel.
While in Melbourne Chris, Katherine and a number of producers met with representatives from agencies including Screen Australia and ScreenWest and with Australian producers and international sales agents.
We’ve had some fantastic feedback from those attending Melbourne and would like to thank everyone who contributed to such a strong delegation.