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New Zealand film scoops awards in festival

New Zealand film scoops awards in Pakistan festival

New Zealand filmmaker Michael Heath has returned from Pakistan with eight of the top awards at the 2nd International Kara Film Festival in Karachi, Pakistan for his film, A Small Life.

Heath flew to Pakistan to take part in the eight-day festival and was overwhelmed by the glowing response to his film as he went up to collect the awards for Best Short Feature, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor (Kelly Leader-Tropman), Best Actress (Mahinarangi Tocker), Best Cinematography (Steve Latty), Best Editing (David Downes) and Best Music (David Downes).

The festival jury, consisting of a number of high-profile film and media representatives, were unanimous in their feeling that Heath’s film was “perfect”.

The Kara Film Festival is the only competitive film festival in Pakistan and has attracted much attention with more than 75 films in the 2002 festival competition from countries as diverse as the United States, Canada, Germany, Iran, Bangladesh, Japan, Sri Lank, Russia, New Zealand, India and Pakistan.

A Small Life, which Heath describes as a “cinematic song cycle”, was made with a grant from the Screen Innovation Production Fund, a partnership between Creative New Zealand and the New Zealand Film Commission. It premiered at the New Zealand Film Festival in July 2000 and since then has gone on to screen at a number of local and overseas festivals. The recent success in Pakistan brings A Small Life’s international award tally to ten.

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