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Going Sideways

Allan George’s short script Everybody Has A Thing placed eighth of 1300 entries in the Screencraft competition. It didn’t make the shortlist for the NZFC’s Fresh Shorts. George reflects on the downs and ups of developing as a filmmaker.

George’s short script is not the only one currently performing well in international competitions. Juliet Bergh (Existence) recently picked up the Best Short Screenplay gong at LA’s Shriekfest with Hannah’s Birthday.

Everybody Has A Thing was declared funnier than 1300 others in Screencraft’s Comedy Screenplay competition which would, you might think, stand it in good stead in a field of 85 domestic submissions. However, George missed out at home, which was frustrating but is part of the game.

He has had considerable success with shorts in the last few years. His short Fusion, made for last year’s 48Hours competition, is shortly on its way to Toronto’s imagineNATIVE, where it’s one of nine NZ titles selected.



Allan George’s Fusion

George isn’t travelling to Toronto this year, although he attended imagineNATIVE with Sounds Perfect last year when the event featured a major Māori Spotlight showcase. The NZFC is supporting attendees this time around: Tui Ruwhiu will attend, along with writer/director Richard Curtis and producer Jillian White (Wairoa prize-winner Ahi Ka).

For both years of Tropfest NZ’s competition, George has won the Best Maori filmmaker gong, for Sounds Perfect and On the Rocks. Shortly after his Tropfest win with On the Rocks, George was invited to take part in a Film Fest Lab course in Hong Kong with Camera d’Or winner and Oscar-nominated Palestinian filmmaker Scandar Copti (Ajami).

Sounds Perfect

Sounds Perfect

The NZFC supported George’s participation. When he arrived in Hong Kong for the course, George was happy to discover that he was the least-experienced person in the room which gave him the opportunity to learn from other participants as well as from Copti. After his first taste of the city, George hopes to return to Hong Kong to meet with more of the city’s filmmakers and understand more of the filmmaking culture.

For now, George is busy working on a short film shot in Auckland over a weekend earlier in the month. He’s also co-writing a pilot for a TV sitcom, hopes to continue his working relationship with actor Greg Stubbings and is busy keeping up with his day job with Sideways Productions, cutting an producing stories for Prime’s daily sportsish show The Crowd Goes Wild.