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Drifting Clouds International Short Film Festival


Where & When:
Soundshell Botantic Gardens 20th Feb 8pm
Reading Cinemas 21st Feb 7.30pm (followed by ball at Westpac St James Trust)

The Drifting Clouds International Short Film Festival is currently in its fifth year. The festival offers over $20,000 dollars worth of equipment and resources for the winner of Best New Zealand Film-the largest prize offered by a film festival in New Zealand.

Past winners of the festival include ‘Virginia Heath’ a London based New Zealander who returned to New Zealand in 2003 and ended up with over $60,000 dollars worth of film resources from Drifting Clouds, enabling her to shoot ‘Point Annihilation’.

This year’s prize for Best Film is donated by Kodak NZ, The Film Unit, Upper Deck, and Metro Film. The prize is 35mm film stock and film resources.

Founded by Rowena Hawea-Harvey, her motivation was the lack of exposure short films were receiving in New Zealand. This years esteemed jury panel includes Mexican "Oscar nominated’ cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki. Emmanuel’s films include Y tu mamá también (2001) ... aka And Your Mother Too (2001) (USA), Sleepy Hollow’and recently ‘Cat in the Hat’. Local judges include "Lord Of The Rings" production superstar’ Mike Hopkins who won the "Oscar for Best Sound Editing".

This year’s festival kicks off on Friday February 20th at the Soundshell in Wellington’s Botanical Gardens, featuring the international short films competing for the ‘Golden Dragon Award’. Finalists include the winning film of Tropfest 2002 ‘Lamb’ directed by Emma Freeman (see below for more information). Emma’s latest film ‘Mittens’ has also been selected as a finalist and will be up against the ‘Cannes ‘ winner of best short film another Australian film ‘Crackerbag’ directed by Glendyn Ivan. The finalists chosen for the NZ competition will be screening on Saturday 21st February at a black tie gala event at Reading Cinemas, followed by a Salsa ball at The Westpac Saint James. Films selected include local Wellingtonian Taika Cohens short film ‘Two Cars, One Night’ and ‘A Killers Lullaby ‘ directed by David Griffiths.

Over 60 international entries have been received to date, from all over the world. Confirmed attendances of the international film directors attending include Brad Vaillancourt from Canada whose short film ‘Fluffy’ was selected as a finalist in the ‘Golden Dragon’ international film competition.

If you require further information, you may be interested in checking out the web site – or e-mail


Written, Directed, Produced and Edited by Emma Freeman.
35mm, 7 minutes.

A father and his blind son struggle to survive on a drought stricken land.


Father Robert Menzies
Son Orpheus Pledger

Director, Producer, Editor, Screenplay Emma Freeman
Director of Photography Cordelia Beresford
Steadicam operator Louis Puli
Camera Assistants Tim Spicer
Simon Imberger
Gaffer Nick Payne
Production and Costume Design Mandi Bialek-Wester
Art Dept Assistant Natarsha Nicholson
Makeup & Hair Andi Coventon
Lamb Suit Liza Bruce
1st Assistant Director Jenny Kendall
Production Assistant Sam Forrest
Unit Assistant Emma Kingsbury
David Melville
Sound Nick Godkin
Boom Geraldine Cahill
Dog Wrangler Luke Hura – Luke’s Canine & Animal Actors
Lamb Wrangler Gum Gully Animal Farm
Catering Slim Pickings Incorporated
Sound Design Mark Lightbourne
Sound Mixer Nick Heydon
Original Music Registered Nurse
Laboratory Atlab Australia
Telecine Digital Pictures Melbourne
Copyright Emma Freeman

Director’s Biography

Emma Freeman completed her Bachelor of Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts (Film and Television), University of Melbourne in 2000.

During her time at VCA, Freeman completed a number of short films, including Blood and Ash, Love, Kin, Daphne and Ollie and Exile, some of which have screened in film festivals throughout Australia, and internationally.

In 2002, Emma received three awards at Tropfest 2002 for her short film, Lamb. These awards included Best Screenplay, Best Original Score and First Prize for the Best Film. Lamb has screened at many international film festivals including the prestigious Locarno International, New York International, Palm Springs, Manhattan, Cork and London. Lamb also qualified for the 2003 Academy Awards and screened at the American Cinematheque in Hollywood.

In 2003, Emma was the first Australian director to sign with Fox Searchlab – a division of Fox Searchlight Pictures. She is currently completing a short film, Mittens, for Fox. Emma continues to develop a number of feature film projects for Fox Searchlight whilst working as a commercials director at Great Southern Films.

2000 Victorian College of the Arts, Highest Overall Mark
2000 Victorian College of the Arts, Cinevex Script Award, ‘Blood and Ash’
1995 World AIDS Day Award
1993 Queensland Theatre Company Young Playwright of the Year
1993 Finalist Young Achiever of the Year

2002 Tropfest - First Prize, Best Screenplay and Best Original Score
2002 St Kilda Film Festival
2002 Australian Short Film Today – New York
2002 A special invitation from the Australian consulate screening in New York
2002 Locarno International Film Festival
2002 Palm Springs International Film Festival
2002 Manhattan Short Film Festival
2002 New York International Film Festival
2002 Cork International film Festival
2002 London international Film Festival
2002 American Cinematheque

Blood and Ash
2002 Seattle International Film Festival, Women in Cinema
2001 AFI National Shorts Tour
2001 Women on Women International Film Festival and National Tour
2001 St Kilda Film Festival and Best of St Kilda National Tour
2001 Melbourne Underground Film Festival
2000 Berlin International Film Festival, shortlisted.

2000 St Kilda Film Festival
2000 Cracaw International Short Film Festival, Poland
2000 Women’s Eye Film Festival, Stockholm

Daphne and Ollie
2000 Brisbane Powerhouse Queer Film Festival
1999 St Kilda Film Festival
1999 Melbourne Queer Film Festival
1999 Stockholm Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
1999 Philadelphia International Short Film Festival
1999 Movies Under the Stars, Melbourne
1999 Melbourne University Short Film Festival

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