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Experimental film on eight screens among grants


MEDIA RELEASE
Friday 26 October


Experimental film on eight screens features among grants

Eight different scenes of the same story, played simultaneously on eight screens and redefining an otherwise straightforward narrative, is one of the most experimental projects offered grants in the latest funding round of the Screen Innovation Production Fund.

Auckland filmmaker Jonathan Brough was offered a $17,338 grant to produce Circle of Friends, which takes a traditional linear story and uses new video technology to break the story into eight parts. These are presented on eight screens, which form a circle with the viewers at the centre. The end result is an installation piece that encourages active participation from its viewers and offers multiple outcomes.

“When viewed as a whole, the film will take several weeks to play from start to finish,” Jonathan Bough says. “It’s a work that couldn’t have existed before the recent availability of streaming video technology.”

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. Approximately $235,000 is available for distribution in each of its two funding rounds per year. One of its key priorities is support for experimental work, which has limited funding options beyond the Screen Innovation Production Fund.

In this round, the Fund received a record 110 applications, seeking a total of $1.78 million. Grants totalling $235,903 were offered to 16 projects. The assessment panel consisted of Alastair Carruthers (Chair and Arts Board representative), Lawrence McDonald, Fane Flaws, Karen Sidney and Gillian Ashhurst.

“One in seven projects was offered a grant,” Mr Carruthers said. “It was an extremely competitive round and unfortunately, some high-quality projects missed out.”

The genre categories represented in the 110 applications were documentary, animation, experimental, short drama, dance, feature and post-production.

“One of the main aims of the Fund is support for experimental, innovative work and more conventional documentaries dealing with familiar subjects were less of a priority for funding,” Mr Carruthers said.

The four documentaries supported in this round were by Auckland filmmakers, and stood out for their innovative subject matter and approach. Andrei Jewell of Herne Bay was offered a $15,000 grant for the post-production of his cinema verité-style documentary, River Song, which profiles young New Zealand percussionist Isaac Tucker. Once completed, it will premiere at the 2002 Harvest Film Festival in Los Angeles and London.

Hitendra Patel of Mt Eden was offered a $12,483 grant to produce a documentary, Children of Zion, about the lives of Rastafarians in Ruatoria. The film recalls their history, explains their beliefs, and examines their contemporary situation and practice.

In addition, Julian McCarthy of Grey Lynn was offered a $11,835 grant to produce a video documentary about the life and work of artist Alan Taylor, while Anoar Ahmed, and Loops and Samples of Mt Eden were offered $20,000 to produce a documentary on the history of the dance music industry in New Zealand.

Encouraging and supporting emerging video and filmmakers is a high priority for the Fund and the assessment panel was impressed with the overall quality of applications from emerging filmmakers.

Stephen Sinclair’s short drama, The Bach was offered a $15,000 grant. Although an experienced Auckland writer and scriptwriter, Sinclair is now emerging as a film director. Described as a psychological thriller, the 14-minute film will be shot on location in the Coromandel area in late 2001.

Other emerging filmmakers supported in this round include:

- Adam Luxton/Jeremy Dumble and Excalibur Films of Newmarket, Auckland, offered a $15,000 grant towards the production of a short film, Ninety Percent

- Michael Reihana of Newton, Auckland offered $22,000 towards the production of a short film, Little Gold Cowboy

The assessment panel noted a steady increase in the number of applications for projects involving digital technology and was particularly excited by two animation-based projects. Craig Gladding of Karekare, Auckland was offered a grant of $2328 to produce an experimental digital short film, Dog, which will combine object animation and live action footage.

Damon Clapshaw and Andrew Bunyan, Fatchance, of Pakuranga, Auckland were offered a grant of $22,000 to produce GM, an animated, satirical short comedy dealing with issues of genetic modification. They will be using an evolving animation style based on the Flash 5 programme, which is primarily an online medium.

The assessment panel also acknowledged the importance of supporting exceptional, non-commercial projects. Wellington filmmaker Colin Hodson was offered a $20,000 grant to produce a digital feature film entitled Cruelty.

Hodson was associated with Three Nights (1998), Uncomfortable Comfortable (1999) and Shifter (2000) as an actor, writer, director and producer. These three films were critically received as forging new territory in the development of the guerilla digital film genre. Cruelty will further develop this style of innovative, improvisational and low-budget filmmaking.

Christchurch filmmaker Patrick Gillies was offered a $20,000 grant to finish his digital feature film, Offensive Behaviour, to DVD so it can be released nationwide. The filmmaker describes the 80-minute film as a “warped, action-comedy feature film with multiple storylines that converge in a rip-roaring climax”.

Dunedin choreographer Daniel Belton is among the growing number of New Zealand choreographers exploring the potential of contemporary dance to reach a wider audience through the medium of film. Belton and Good Company were offered a $14,454 to produce a short dance film, Wireless, based on a live dance performance created to accompany Fiona Samuel’s play, One Flesh.

“A film version of Wireless will find a way to represent and enhance the best aspects of the work, at the same time providing a fresh perspective,” Belton says. “Through film and television, contemporary dance can reach a far greater audience. This not only strengthens the profile of the artform but also develops its sense of vitality.”

Applications to the Screen Innovation Production Fund’s next round close on 22 February 2002. 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

Attached is a complete list of Screen Innovation Production Fund grants. For further information about the grants, please contact:

Undine Marshfield
Media and Communications Advisor
Creative New Zealand
Tel: 04-498 0725

Chloë Laing
Administrator, Screen Innovation Production Fund
Creative New Zealand
Tel: 04-498 0739

Screen Innovation Production Fund
The complete list of grants in this funding round:

$17,338 to Jonathan Brough of Henderson, Auckland: towards the production of an experimental film, Circle of Friends

$20,000 to Patrick Gillies of Christchurch: towards the post-production of a digital feature film, Offensive Behaviour

$2328 to Craig Gladding of Karekare, Auckland: towards the production of an experimental short video, Dog

$20,000 to Colin Hodson of Te Aro, Wellington: towards the production of a digital feature film, Cruelty

$15,000 to Andrei Jewell of Herne Bay, Auckland: towards the post-production of a documentary, Riversong, for international film festival release

$11,835 to Julian McCarthy of Grey Lynn, Auckland: towards the production of a documentary,Light in the Dark, about the life and work of artist Alan Taylor

$12,483 to Hitendra Patel of Mt Eden, Auckland: towards the production of a documentary,Children of Zion

$22,000 to Michael Reihana of Newton, Auckland: towards the production of a short film, Little Gold Cowboy

$8765 to Daniel Strang of Hamilton: towards the post-production of an experimental short film, Playing a Role

$15,000 to Harry Wong of Onehunga, Auckland: towards the production of a short film, Lost Dream Street

$14,454 to Daniel Belton & Good Company of Dunedin: towards the production of a short dance film, Wireless

$15,000 to Adam Luxton, Jeremy Dumble and Excalibur Films of Newmarket, Auckland: towards the production of a short film, Ninety Percent

$22,000 to Damon Clapshaw, Andrew Bunyan and Fatchance of Pakuranga, Auckland: towards the production af an animated short film, GM

$15,000 to Stephen Sinclair and Godzone Pictures Ltd of Grey Lynn, Auckland: towards the production of a short drama, The Bach

$20,000 to Anoar Ahmed and Loops and Samples of Mt Eden, Auckland: towards the production of a documentary on the history of the dance music industry in New Zealand

$4700 to Wiremu Grace and Manu Kopere Inc. of Porirua: towards the production of a short film, Soldier


Total allocation: $235,903

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