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Martinov top of Vista Pecking Order

The Vista Foundation, in partnership with the NZFC, has announced feature doco Pecking Order as the winner of the second annual Vista Film Marketing competition.

The award contributes $75,000 to the marketing budget of a NZ film which will be released here in the next 12 months. Last year’s winner was the currently on-release Chasing Great, which has so far taken over $1.8million.

This year is the second time the award has been presented and the second time it’s gone to a doco – although it’s fair to say there aren’t too many similarities between the recipient titles beyond that point.

Chasing Great is a celeb-focused portrait of the magnificent 7, former All Blacks captain and two-time Rugby World Cup winner Richie McCaw. Pecking Order sounds like the The Ground We Won of chook flicks, and follows the Christchurch Poultry Club in the lead up to a National Competition: “an hilarious and heart-warming slice of Kiwiana”.

It’s unclear what the Chasing Great of chicken movies might be, but suggestions are welcome.

Awards judge Anna Dean said of Martinov’s pitch for Pecking Order, “All of us were smiling when we talked about the potential for the film during the judging process. It immediately captured our hearts and our imaginations and we know the film viewing public of New Zealand will feel the same way.”

Martinov’s previous doco, the North Korean-set Christistchurch-shot Propaganda, had an online release and played festivals including Doc Edge, IDFA, Raindance and Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival, where it won the Founders Prize.

The NZFC’s Jasmin McSweeney said, “The Vista film marketing programme was devised to give filmmaking teams a greater understanding of how best to get their film in front of as large an audience as possible. The Pecking Order team took everything wholeheartedly on board and are deserving winners.”

Vista and the NZFC announced their partnership early last year.

The NZFC and Vista created a programme of workshops for producers and filmmakers with films currently in development and production, for which the award competition is the culmination. Judges this year were Anick Poirier (Seville International / eOne Films) and Ray Strache (Fox Searchlight), plus local players Simon Werry (Lighthouse Cinema Wellington), Ross Churchouse (Hoyts Cinemas), Anna Dean (Double Denim) and John Barnett (Endeavour).

Accepting his award, Martinov said, “I can’t thank Vista enough for inviting us to pitch our film. Programmes like this give us a chance to test our ideas, and from that we can keep adjusting and improving what we do. They’re invaluable.”

Pecking Order will be released in NZ cinemas by Vendetta Films on 6 April 2017.

Top image: (from left) Dave Gibson (NZFC), Jill Macnab (Vendetta Films), Anick Poirier (Seville International), Pecking Order director Slavko Martinov (SabineProgram), Ray Strache (Fox Searchlight)

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