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Boost for Unitec filmmaker’s feature

Unitec Department of Performing and Screen Arts’ ongoing commitment to industry engagement has seen the New Zealand Film Commission commit $1 million towards funding a new feature film written and directed by Unitec senior lecturer and filmmaker, Dorthe Scheffmann.

Dorthe’s film Vermilion is scheduled to shoot in Auckland between 4th October and 5th December 2016. The Project will be fully professionally crewed and will offer some of Unitec’s Year 3 Performing and Screen Arts students an exciting opportunity to engage with a professional crew and cast. Unitec’s senior lecturer in acting, John Davies has been cast in one of the lead roles.

Vermilion tells the story of a group of women who are close to each other – mothers, daughters, friends and neighbours. Some of their relationships are good and some are broken. The events of one summer month changes their lives forever. MF Films’ Michele Fantl is the film’s producer.

Dorthe is very excited Unitec students will be involved in this project: “I am very keen to find ways of working with individual students among the year three cohort. We have some really talented students this year and it will be exciting for me to work out in collaboration with their specialist tutor how this project can best serve them,” she explains.

Unitec Department of Performing and Screen Arts (PASA) head of department, Alex Lee was ecstatic at the news which comes hot on the heels of Unitec’s substantial contribution to The Pop-Up Globe Theatre’s box office success and strong alumni presence throughout the Globe’s Auckland season from February to April, in particular the productions of Titus and Anthony & Cleopatra which were first performed at the Unitec Theatre in 2012 and 2015 respectively.

“PASA has worked hard over the years to develop a strong relationship with the performing and screen arts industries which is evident from the success we’ve been having. We wish Dorthe the very best in making her film,” says Mr Lee, himself an award winning producer and chairperson of Film Auckland.

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