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NZFC gets fresh

The NZFC has announced the 2014 recipients of the Fresh Shorts scheme.


Paul Neason’s Queenie, funded as a Fresh30 short in 2011, premiered at SXSW this year

At $10,000:

Dove Tailing
Thomas Burton (director), Melinda Jackson (producer)
Nathan learns the true meaning of ‘clean up’ on the first night of a new job.

Leon Wadham and Eli Kent (directors/producers)
A story of breakups and beginnings, both with people and with place.

Mata Freshwater (writer/director), Thomas Coppell (producer)
Set in a dystopic NZ Future where the struggle for food is the current mood, and all the resources have been taken, what to do?

Julian Vares (writer/director)
16 year-old Elliot must choose between leading his own life, or conforming to his father’s wishes.

At $30,000:

Alex Backhouse (writer/director), Katie Frost (producer)
Cyber-obsessed ‘Explorer’ starts to lose himself in his obsession with searching for extra-terrestrial signals from the cosmos.

Jump Day at Pelorus
Alex Sutherland (writer/director), Michael Duignan (co-writer) Nick Beachman (producer)
Summer, 1980 Marlborough, Chris stands on the edge of success and survival in this seminal moment of modern bungy jumping history.

Taofia Pelesasa (writer), Karin Williams (producer)
Nan Maria is on her way out, will her family forgive her?

Out of Order
Ryan Cooper (writer/director), Tim Evans (producer)
Evil threatens the world via a games arcade until an unknown young girl fights to save the planet.

Dave Whitehead (writer/director), Marc Tyson (producer)
Six year-old David just wants to part of the possum hunt, but when he finds his possum, he realises that having to kill it is more than he ever imagined.

The Couple
David White (director), Sebastian Hampson (writer), Chris Hampson (producer)
Following his cancer diagnosis, Patrick withdraws from his wife, Stephanie. Will their relationship survive or is it too late?

Abigail Greenwood (director), Kate Prior (writer/producer)
Nana thinks she is an ancient Byzantine empress. Only her grand-daughter can perceive the true survivor.

Waiting for the World to End
Luke Bremner (writer/director), Lisa Hastie (producer)
80 year-old Penny has a dream that he will one day fly.

This year two projects were awarded $20,000. Whilst originally submitted for the $10,000 funding level, both these projects were considered outstanding story ideas with strong audience appeal. To assist the filmmakers to realise their films’ full potential, it was decided by the panel to offer increased funding.

These were:

Heather Hayward (director), Michelle Savill (producer)
Parking Wardens are universally disliked, yet despite his profession, Stevo is a beloved character of Wellington’s Streets.

Grey William
Sandy Burton-Davis (director), Sam Burt (writer) Jeremy Liss (co-writer)

Like the famous racehorse her tour bus is named after, Margie faces a decision: sprint for the finish line or end up in the glue factory..

Fresh Shorts is the New Zealand Film Commission’s competitive low-budget short film funding scheme which aims to identify up-and-coming New Zealand directorial and filmmaking talent from diverse backgrounds to make exciting short films.

Now in its fifth year, Fresh Shorts received a total of 196 submissions, with 111 applications for the $10,000 funding level and 85 at the $30,000 level.

A shortlist of 37 applications was reviewed by a panel of industry practitioners and New Zealand Film Commission staff, before the final 14 projects were selected. The panel consisted of industry members Christina Asher, Tearepa Kahi, Tusi Tamasese, and NZFC staff members Chris Payne, Bonnie Slater and Whetu Fala. The panel was facilitated by Nick Ward and Michelle Turner.

Making the announcement, Acting Short Film Manager Whetu Fala said: “the panel were impressed by the range and quality of the short films presented and found the final selection challenging.

“These are exciting voices on the pathway to their feature film careers and we look forward to seeing these projects develop into individual and distinctive films that will connect with audiences both here and overseas.”

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