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BSS 2012: open for business

The Big Screen Symposium officially opens its doors today with the release of earlybird tickets and a couple more speaker announcements.

Following the initial announcements in late June a number of local speakers and one international are now confirmed.

The NZFC’s Graeme Mason, writer and academic Shuchi Kothari (Apron Strings, Coffee & Allah, A Thousand Apologies), producer Tui Ruwhui and director Rob Sarkies (Scarfies, Out of the Blue) will speak. Sarkies’ latest feature, the Berlin-premiered Two Little Boys, opens less than three weeks after the Symposium.

From further afield, the Big Screen Symposium has confirmed American producer Ted Hope as keynote speaker.

With over 60 producing credits to his name, Hope has gone through various incarnations in his career, but all within what’s broadly termed “indie” film.

His early production company Good Machine produced Ang Lee’s early films including the Academy Award nominated Eat Drink Man Woman and The Wedding Banquet. Universal bought out Good Machine in 2002 and folded into what’s now Focus Features. Hope also produced the Oscar-nominated In the Bedroom while at Good Machine.

Since then Hope has produced almost twenty features, including Adventureland and Friends With Money and Martha Marcy May Marlene, which released here in March.

He also produced a trio of Oscar-nominated films, Tamara Jenkins’ 2007 The Savages, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s 2003 21 Grams and Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini’s 2003 American Splendor.

A Sundance regular, both as awardee and panellist, Hope has long been a strong advocate for independent film, exploiting opportunities via social media and the internet as a distribution platform for film (legally, not via piracy). He blogs regularly at HopeForFilm.

The Big Screen Symposium runs 1 – 2 September at the Owen G Glen Building, University of Auckland. Earlybird tickets are on sale here until 27 July.

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