Yellow is Forbidden, directed by Pietra Brettkelly is to be the first New Zealand film to screen In Competition at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival. The film’s world premiere will also feature in the festival’s prestigious Opening Weekend.
Yellow is Forbidden is a modern-day Cinderella, where the diminutive and daring Guo Pei’s dream of being selected into the exclusive yet savage world of haute couture doesn’t end at the ball. The film weaves global power dynamics and the opposition between art and commerce with a hankering for oppressive Imperial Grandeur.
Pietra Brettkelly is a multi-award-winning director and producer. Her work has premiered at four of the world’s five top film festivals. Pietra’s previous film, A Flickering Truth had its world premiere at the 2015 Venice Film Festival, and its North American premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. It was New Zealand’s entry to the 2015 Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category.
Yellow is Forbidden is Brettkelly’s 5th feature film. Māori Boy Genius, premiered in competition at the Berlin Film Festival in 2012 and The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins received the World Documentary Editing award at Sundance in 2008.
Brettkelly says “Tribeca Film Festival in New York is the perfect world premiere for my rich, complex, stunningly beautiful film made not just by me, but a team of inspired creatives who graciously agreed to come on this film journey. At a time when we address the imbalances of power within my industry as in others, three years ago an extraordinary woman who couldn’t speak my language as I couldn’t speak hers, entrusted me with her story after meeting for just one hour. This humbling level of trust Guo Pei gave me along with intimate and exclusive access rendered this not just another fashion film but a documentary with depth and splendour and precision. I believe this is my best film to date."
New Zealand Film Commission CEO, Annabelle Sheehan says, “I know that Yellow is Forbidden is a personal triumph for Pietra, and so deserving of the opening weekend slot at Tribeca. Pietra's premiere follows The Breaker Upperers' at SXSW, and it's very exciting to have these two New Zealand films directed by women showcased internationally in this way."
Yellow is Forbidden was made with investment from PBK Limited and the New Zealand Film Commission. Cinematographer was Jacob Bryant (A Flickering Truth, The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins, Māori Boy Genuis), with Nicolas Chaudeurge (Still Alice, Fish Tank, Wuthering Heights, The Two Faces of January) and Margot Francis (Billy T: Te Movie, Sarafina: Words of Freedom!) as editors. Molly Malene Stensgaard was Editorial Consultant. Composed music is by Tom Third (Certain Prey, The Listener, Mosquito). Producers are Pietra Brettkelly, Richard Fletcher for Libertine Pictures and Naomi Wallwork.
Madman Entertainment will distribute the film in Australia and New Zealand with world sales handled by Andrew Herwitz at the Film Sales Company. The Tribeca Film Festival runs 18-29 April 2018.