Issue date: 
Thursday, 23 March 2017

Three New Zealand films will screen at Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary film festival. Slavko Martinov’s Pecking Order and Florian Habicht’s Spookers will each have their world premieres at the festival, while Annie Goldson’s Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web follows its successful SXSW world premiere in Austin, Texas last week with screenings in Toronto. 

Congratulating the filmmakers, New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) CEO Dave Gibson said, “New Zealand documentaries have been going from strength to strength and it’s great to see the diversity of subject matter recognised by the festival’s selection of three very different films for their 2017 programme.”

Pecking Order, written and directed by Slavko Martinov and produced by Martinov, David Brechin-Smith and Mike Kelland will have its world premiere in the festival’s Magnificent Obsessions section. Pecking Order is a feel-good, feather-ruffling flockumentary following the fierce rivalries, club infighting, problematic birds, irregular judging and other challenges facing a group of zealous chicken breeders hell-bent on victory at the 2015 National Poultry Show.

Pecking Order will be released in New Zealand and Australia on 18 May by Vendetta Films.

Spookers, an official NZ/Australian co-production will have its world premiere in the Nightvision section.  Directed by Florian Habicht, written by Habicht, Peter O’Donoghue and Veronica Gleeson and produced by Nick Batzias, Lani-rain Feltham, Suzanne Walker and Virginia Whitwell, Spookers tells the story of a quirky and close-knit family of New Zealand sheep farmers who run the most successful scare park in the Southern Hemisphere –creating a family of scarers like no other. Habicht previously attended Hot Docs in 2014 with his film PULP: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets and served on the jury for the festival’s competitive short film programme the same year.

Spookers will be released in New Zealand and Australia by Madman Entertainment.

Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web will screen in the Democrazy section. Directed by Annie Goldson and produced by Alexander Behse, Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web details the battle between Dotcom and the US government and entertainment industry being fought out in New Zealand.  The film had its world premiere at Austin’s SXSW festival last week. Goldson’s earlier films. Punitive Damage, Georgie Girl (co-directed with Peter Wells) and An Island Calling screened at Hot Docs in 2000, 2003 and 2008 respectively.

Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web will be released in New Zealand later this year.

Hot Docs is North America’s largest documentary festival, offering an outstanding selection of over 200 films from Canada and around the world to Toronto audiences of more than 200,000.

Hot Docs runs 27 April – 7 May 2017

Last updated: 
Friday, 24 March 2017