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NZFF 2011 battles boy wizards and blizzards

Strong Cantabarian support for local productions was highlighted in the final results for the New Zealand International Film Festival in 2011, which were down on forecast overall.

Local titles were among the most popular films in the Festival line-up with sell-out or near capacity audiences for Netherwood and The Holy Roller. The other big hits were films that have continued to sell well with the Festival around NZ: The Tree of Life, The Trip, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Fire in Babylon, Le Havre and Senna.

Attendance at the New Zealand International Film Festival was down on forecasted numbers for the 2011 programme, despite a strong line-up, with a total of 12,157 admissions to the Festival this year. This was down by 4,586 tickets (c.f. 16,743 in 2010.).

“We had revised our expectations of audience numbers for the Festival this year but we were well aware that conditions in the city were unprecedented and well outside anyone’s experience to assess. Needless to say three days of polar weather conditions contributed to the decline.” says Festival Director Bill Gosden.

“A loss is difficult for the Festival to sustain at a time when we continue to operate without large sponsorship income, but all staff and trustees were determined to mount a Festival in the city this year. We received total support from every filmmaker or distributor we approached. We were also very pleased to receive a grant of $10,000 from Canterbury Community Trust.”

“The upside of the results is the obvious support for locally-made films. The celebration of Cantabrian creativity came through with great attendance for those films. We’d also like to pay a tribute to the Hoyts Northlands staff and to our tireless man on the scene, Nick Paris, who have worked harder than ever to keep the Festival flag flying in Christchurch.” says Gosden.

The Festival screened at Hoyts Northlands in August and was the first time the Festival had screened at the Papanui cinema venue.

“With such a high demand for cinema screens in Christchurch we are grateful to Hoyts for hosting us this year. They made room in their schedule to enable our screenings at a time when boy wizards were taking up a lot of screen space,” says Gosden.

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