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NZ titles winners in Japan

Two NZ short films, both of them multi-award winners at environmentally-themed festivals here, have taken out gongs at the Japan Wildlife Film Festival (JWFF).



Natasha Bishop’s Arboraceous and James Muir’s River Dog both had a good night at the awards ceremony in Toyama.

Bishop was 16 when she made Arboraceous for The Outlook For Sunday (TOFS). She wrote, directed, animated, composed and performed the film’s music. At TOFS her film won the Department of Conservation Big Picture Award and was also honoured as The Body Shop Standout Winner.

Now 17, Bishop was the youngest film-maker ever to have a film selected at JWFF. The biennial festival this year selected just 43 films in competition, with Arboraceous up against films made by the BBC, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) and other international broadcasters.

Bishop collected two awards at JWFF, for Best Newcomer and Best Animation.


James Muir and Oscar Hunter’s River Dog was a triple winner here at Reel Earth, collecting the Best Emerging Filmmaker, Best NZ Doco and People’s Choice Awards. The 2011 film is one of several award-winners to come out of the University of Otago’s master’s course in natural history film-making.

The film took JWFF’s Environment award and also the festival’s Grand Prize.

River Dog trailer

Bishop and River Dog subject Grant Muir travelled to Japan and also gave seminars and Q&A presentations of their films.

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