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Norwegian Film-Maker Represents NZ In Awards

12 February 2004

Norwegian film-maker represents New Zealand in awards

Peter Jackson and Keisha Castle-Hughes aren't the only people flying the Kiwi flag this awards season, with another film-maker representing New Zealand in an international film competition - even though she's from Norway.

Gunhild Oddsen won the New Zealand Kodak Film school competition for her cinematography on Levitate me, a short film made by her and a group of fellow Unitec film students last year.

Her eight-minute film about love and magic during a stage-magician's act is now the New Zealand entry in the Kodak competition for the greater Asia and Japan region being judged this month. First prize is a trip to the Cannes Film Festival.

Originally from Norway, Gunhild came to New Zealand to do Unitec's Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts (Screen Arts) and says that she is happy to represent the institute and New Zealand. "I feel comfortable with that because New Zealand is a big part of my life now."

Kodak Entertainment Imaging Manager Grant Campbell says that the judge of the New Zealand competition was blown away by the quality of the entries. "He's a cinematographer who worked as a camera operator on Whalerider and as a director of photography on a US tv series and he was impressed with the production values of these student films."

This is the third year that Kodak has run the New Zealand competition, with nine short films from five film schools entering. Gunhild is the second Unitec film student to take the award.

She says she wasn't sure whether she would stay in New Zealand for the full three years of the Unitec programme, but she completed the degree last year and plans on returning to Norway in June. "Ideally I'd like to get work experience in the New Zealand industry," she says, "but I have to go back to Norway so that I can start paying off my student loan."


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