Following its world premiere in Berlin and its North American premiere in Seattle, Jackie van Beek’s debut feature film, The Inland Road, has been selected to screen at the New Zealand International Film Festival and Europe’s largest children’s festival; The Giffoni International Film Festival in Italy.
The Inland Road had its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February, playing to sold out houses and rave reviews. It recently played at the Seattle Film Festival where lead actress Gloria Popata received a special mention from the jury for her performance: “We also single out Gloria Popata for her arresting debut as a troubled native New Zealander in the film The Inland Road.”
Directed by Jackie van Beek and produced by Aaron Watson for Sabertooth Films Ltd, the film was funded by the New Zealand Film Commission and private investors. International sales are being handled by Level K.
The film follows teenage runaway, Tia, who after surviving a fatal car crash moves in with the strangers involved in the accident, threatening the family’s delicate balance.
The film features a “proudly internalized performance” (The Hollywood Reporter) from newcomer Gloria Popata, who won the role from over 2000 applicants, and also stars Chelsie Preston Crayford (Beyond the Known World, What We Do In The Shadows), Scottish Bafta winner David Elliot (Kajaki), Jodie Hillock and Georgia Spillane.
The Inland Road will have its New Zealand premiere at the New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) in Auckland, and will also screen in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin as part of the festival.
In many ways The Inland Road is a universal story of an outsider looking for a sense of belonging and I’m thrilled that our film is resonating with international audiences. But for me, The Inland Road is intrinsically Kiwi – in its characters, its landscape and its tone so I’m delighted to be presenting our film to audiences here at home as part of the NZIFF this year,” says director Jackie van Beek.
“It was an amazing, overwhelming and humbling experience to have the film’s world premiere at a packed house in Berlin. Seeing a German audience connect with the film has made me even more excited to release the film in New Zealand,” says producer Aaron Watson.