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GZDOC turns its beady eyes on NZ

Seven New Zealand filmmakers and producers have been selected to appear at China’s Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival (GZDOC) later this month. The festival runs from 29 November – 13 December and includes an International Producers Day, which four NZ producers will attend.

With support from Film Auckland and Auckland City Council, the Documentary New Zealand Trust (DOCNZ) secured New Zealand as the focus country for this year’s event.

Screening in competition at GZDOC will be Sandy Crichton’s Chance of a Lifetime and Christchurch filmmaker Kathleen Gallagher’s Earth Whisperers Papatuanuku.

This way of life directed by Thomas Burstyn and fresh from successful screenings at the Vancouver International Film Festival, has been selected in the focus competition which this year is highlighting the theme Looking for happiness, showcasing documentaries showing joy, humour and fun.

GZDOC’s International Producers Day will offer a networking platform for international and Chinese producers. 14 producers were selected worldwide including from New Zealand Alex Lee and Dan Shanan (Tamarillo Films Limited), Dan Salmon (Octopus Pictures Ltd) and David Harry Baldock (Sauce Television).

The event also features an industry summit from 7-11 December, attracting international film makers, producers and other film sector representatives. An Auckland delegation of film makers and producers, will be attending the summit. This delegation will be led by DOCNZ and Film Auckland’s executive manager Michael Brook.

Michael said, “China, together with the rest of Asia, is seen as a key area of potential growth for the screen industry in Auckland and this project assures us of excellent profile at such an important event for the region.”

Guangzhou and Auckland formed an international partnership 20 years ago. Auckland’s international relations programmes contribute approximately $55 million annually to the Auckland city economy, the majority of that coming from the Auckland-Guangzhou relationship.