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Experimental Film Features In Screen Fund Grants

Auckland choreographer/director Shona McCullagh’s experimental dance film, based on the concept of movement defying gravity, was one of 16 projects offered grants in the latest funding round of the Screen Innovation Production Fund.

McCullagh was one of six finalists in a recent German video dance competition. Selected from 120 applicants worldwide, she received sponsorship funding to produce fly, a three-minute pilot of her concept for a dance film.

She returned home this week from the presentation in Cologne, delighted at the Screen Innovation Production Fund’s $26,838 grant to develop the three-minute pilot into a 12-minute short film.

The Screen Innovation Production Fund, a partnership between Creative New Zealand and the New Zealand Film Commission, supports the moving-image arts by funding innovative, often low-budget productions. In this funding round, the Fund received 63 applications seeking nearly $1 million. In the end, grants totalling $230,055 were offered to 16 projects.

“The concept of fly came about when I was thinking about the possibilities of generating movement that defied gravity,” McCullagh said. “To me, the camera is the ultimate choreographic tool and film the perfect medium to explore this concept.”

The film will be produced later this year by Margaret Slater and Slater Films, which also produced McCullagh’s first dance film, Hurtle, in 1998. Hurtle has become one of New Zealand best-selling short films distributed by the New Zealand Film Commission.

The Screen Innovation Production Fund’s assessment panel - Julie Warren (Chair), Lawrence McDonald, Karen Sidney and Stuart McKenzie - was impressed by the quality of the experimental work and stressed the important role the Fund played in nurturing this work.

Grants to three other experimental films were offered. They are:

- $6000 to Guy Hamling of Grey Lynn, Auckland towards V, an experimental short film about music, perception and suburban isolation

- $8365 to Lindsay Rabbitt of the Kapiti Coast towards the post-production of Crossover, a split-screen video work featuring middle-aged men talking about God, sex and the future.

- $9120 to Alastair Galbraith of Dunedin towards the production of Telepathine, a twenty-first century homage to the films of Len Lye.

Julie Warren said the panel was pleased to support both emerging and established filmmakers in this funding round. “We have some talented emerging filmmakers making their mark,” she said. “But it’s important to nurture talent and innovation at all levels of experience in the moving-image industry.”

Established Wellington filmmaker Rachel Douglas was offered a grant of $30,750 towards the post-production of a feature film, Hardboiled Wonderland, which follows seven people over the course of one “bad day” in Wellington.

“The quality of this project was exceptional and the panel was impressed by Rachel’s talent and determination,” Ms Warren said.

The panel also commended the work of established Manukau City filmmaker Martin Rumsby, who was offered a grant of $23,925 towards the production of his feature film, Rock Park. Based on his research of black street people in Chicago, the film will be shot in the United States in August.

“Black American culture has had a profound influence throughout the world and yet it is seriously misrepresented in film and the media,” Rumsby said.

Emerging filmmakers offered grants include: Glenn Elliott of Freemans Bay, Auckland ($15,000 towards the production of a documentary, Ratana Pa: Brass Boots and All); Kezia Barnett and Bubblegum Productions of Ponsonby, Auckland ($22,770 towards the production of a musical short film, Sweet as Candy); Charlie Bleakley and Midget Films of Island Bay, Wellington ($4784 towards the production of a short digital video film called A Three Dollar Day).

The panel noted an increase in applications seeking funding for projects using digital technology. However, many of these applications used digital technology primarily as a cost-effective, accessible tool rather than as a means to experiment.

Among the grants offered to projects exploring digital technologies are:

- $12,800 to animation artist Bob Stenhouse of Upper Hutt towards the production of a six-minute children’s animated television programme of the Joy Cowley story, Tulevai and the Sea

- $4900 to Dunedin writer David Eggleton towards the production of Teleprompter, a multimedia exploration of digital technology. Eggleton will recite his poem, Teleprompter, with an electronic soundscape composed by Auckland musician Joost Langveld.

Applications to the Screen Innovation Production Fund’s next round close on 27 July 2001. Copies of the Funding Guide: Nga Putea 2001-2002 are available from Creative New Zealand offices or can be downloaded from the publications page of its website (www.creativenz.govt.nz).

ends

Screen Innovation Production Fund

The complete of grants in this funding round:

$15,000 to Chris Clark of Paremata, Wellington towards production of a short film, When The Jars Are Done

$30,750 to Rachel Douglas of Wellington towards post-production of a feature film, Hardboiled Wonderland

$15,000 to Glenn Elliott of Freemans Bay, Auckland towards production of a documentary, Ratana Pa: Brass Boots and All

$9120 to Alastair Galbraith of Dunedin towards production of an experimental drama, Telepathine

$6000 to Guy Hamling of Grey Lynn, Auckland towards production of an experimental short film, V

$9620 to Dean Hapeta of Paekakariki, Kapiti Coast towards post-production of a music documentary

$14,583 to Mel Johnston of Wellington towards post-production of a documentary, The Expected Outcome

$4784 to Charlie Bleakley and Midget Films of Island Bay, Wellington towards production of a short digital video film

$8365 to Lindsay Rabbitt of Paekakariki, Kapiti Coast towards post-production of an experimental short film

$10,600 to Zoe Roland of Newton, Auckland towards production of a documentary, Bach Mythology

$23,925 to Martin Rumsby of Manukau City towards production of a feature-length drama, Rock Park

$15,000 to Aden Shillito of Christchurch towards production of a short film, Coveting the Ark

$12,800 to Bob Stenhouse of Upper Hutt towards production of an animated children’s television programme, Tulevai and the Sea

$22,770 to Kezia Barnett and Bubblegum Valley Productions of Ponsonby, Auckland towards production of a musical short film

$4900 to David Eggleton of Dunedin towards production of a short film using digital technology

$26,838 to Shona McCullagh and The Human Garden of Warkworth, Auckland towards production of short dance film


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