The New Zealand Film Commission is pleased to announce the successful applicants for the Women’s Horror Short Film Fund who will each receive a grant of $60,000 to make their films. This was a one-off initiative aimed at giving women filmmakers the opportunity to make a genre short film.
Thirty-one applications were received, with six making a shortlist from which the final two films, Vaspy and The Rat King, were selected.
Vaspy, written and directed by Hweiling Ow and produced by Rachel Jean and Andrew Beattie is about an expectant mother who suddenly develops strange food cravings after being 'stung' by her child's clickety clack wooden toy, Vaspy.
Ow's huge appetite for acting has driven her to make her own short films. A self-described “disturbing ideas specialist”, Ow has been exploring the horror genre since 2012, where her script T for Talk took second place in the international ABCs of Death competition. The success of this film led to funding for an anthology horror series called Ao-Terror-oa, which will premiere in late September through a joint initiative between Google and NZ on Air.
In The Rat King, written and directed by Hash Perambalam and produced by Leela Meenon, a young musician is dealt an unearthly punishment after taking advantage of a young woman.
Perambalam is a recent graduate of Auckland University, having obtained a Masters in Screen Production, specialising in Drama Directing. Her first short film Not Like Her received the award for Best Self-Funded Short at the 2016 Rialto Channel New Zealand Film Awards.
The two filmmakers will be mentored through the development process with the goal of having their films in production in 2018.