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Raetihi To Join The Ranks Of Cannes And Sundance

Raetihi To Join The Ranks Of Cannes And Sundance

Town to Present Winter Film Festival in Southern Hemisphere¹s Oldest Movie Theater RAETIHI -- Taking advantage of its status as the town with the oldest movie theater in the southern hemisphere, Raetihi is staging a film festival.

From 29 ­ 31 July, Raetihi will turn itself into the Cannes of Aotearoa, showing such New Zealand classics as Smash Palace (1981) and The Silent One (1984) and director Gaylene Preston¹s latest, Perfect Strangers (2003). The festival will also screen more than 50 new works by filmmakers from NZ and overseas.

³We wanted to offer a forum for new filmmakers to show their work as well as give the people of Raetihi a chance to view some great New Zealand films, one of which was shot locally (Smash Palace)² said film festival co-ordinator, Marius Luessi.

The town is involved in an ongoing project to refurbish the Theatre Royal, built in 1915. ³It¹s a fantastic venue that seats 250, said Luessi. ³We¹re fortunate to have it available for the festival. It gives the event a real sense of history.² Another drawing point is the festival¹s proximity to the Mt Ruapehu ski fields. ³Those attending can slip off for some skiing and still make it back in time to go to the movies.²

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