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NZ Film Lawyer Honoured By Shanghai Film Festival

NZ Film Lawyer Honoured By Shanghai Film Festival

 Michael Stephens, a leading New Zealand film and entertainment lawyer and founder of Wellington law firm Stephens Lawyers, has been appointed as New Zealand ’s International Delegate of the Shanghai International Film Festival by the Organising Committee of the Shanghai International Film Festival.

The appointment for a two-year term, acknowledges Michael’s support and long association with the Chinese film industry and that country’s leading Film Festival.

Michael, in accepting the appointment, said, “While this is a honour personally, it also is a great acknowledgement of the growing reputation of the New Zealand film industry overseas, and in Asia in particular which is of increasing importance to us.”

The Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in Asia . First held in 1993, the SIFF was held biennially until 2001 and now runs annually. This year’s festival runs from 12 – 20 June and over 200,000 people are expected to attend this year’s SIFF, which will screen around 250 films over the nine day festival.

New Zealand films have been well received at past Festivals, including winning the SIFF Jin Jue (“Golden Chalice”) highest awards. The New Zealand films included in this year’s SIFF Official Selection are:

HOME BY CHRISTMAS Directed by Gaylene Preston

THE VINTNER’S LUCK Directed by Niki Caro

I’M NOT HARRY JENSON Directed by James Marshall Napier


“These films are first class examples of the great diversity of quality independent New Zealand films, and all the filmmakers involved are to be congratulated for this great international recognition of their craft,” said Michael.

About Michael Stephens:

Michael Stephens is a leading New Zealand film and entertainment Lawyer. Michael has been closely involved in the development of New Zealand ’s film production and digital entertainment industry for over 15 years.

He is the founding principal of Stephens Lawyers and has a personal and professional interest in the future of East/West co-productions, and funding for film, animation and other digital content projects.

Michael’s current interests include acting as a director of a number of New Zealand film and digital entertainment companies, and as the chairman of the New Zealand Institute of Screen Innovation, the Asia Pacific Film Fund and the Korean Cinerama Trust New Zealand . He is also an honorary adviser to the New Zealand/China Film Festivals.

Some of the recently completed New Zealand film and media projects Michael has assisted with include I’m not Harry Jenson, District 9, Aftershock, Last of the Living and When night Falls.

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