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International Director Secured For Precious Movie

November 29, 2004

International Director Secured For Precious Movie

The producers of Precious, the planned feature movie on the life of New Zealand sporting icon Precious McKenzie, MBE, have advised they've signed award-winning director Michael Raeburn to direct the movie.

One of the main producers involved, South African Debi Nethersole, of Unital Films International, announced today award winning director Michael Raeburn has been contracted to direct Precious.

"We are happy that Michael brings his unique film-making experience and delivery of award-winning screen dramas to Precious, says Nethersole. "Also his understanding of the African situation through his noted documentary films and vast research into ethnic cultures will be invaluable for this project."

Raeburn has won numerous festival awards as a director. His feature films and documentaries have earned him international acclaim. Feature credits include Killing Heat (starring Karen Black), Soweto, Home Sweet Home and Jit.

Tauranga-based screenwriter Lance Morcan, who co-wrote Precious with his son James, says the project could not have a more appropriate director than Raeburn.

"Like Precious, Michael was born and bred in Africa and has an innate understanding of the apartheid and cultural issues Precious grew up with," he says. "It will take someone of his background to do justice to this movie."

Morcan says Precious is just one of four feature films he and James have in development. All are with offshore production companies.

"We've been lucky in that our manager, Michael Gruskoff, is also a major Hollywood producer who happens to like our work. He has personally optioned two of our scripts, The Armorer and Chameleon, and has recently signed on as executive producer of another, White Spirit."

The Armorer is a period piece set in North America and is currently being pitched worldwide to A-list directors; Chameleon is a contemporary thriller in the mould of The Bourne Supremacy and is currently undergoing a polish; and White Spirit, a period piece set in Ireland and Australia, is in development with Dublin-based production company Fastnet Films, and to date has received two rounds of funding from the Irish Film Board.

Morcan says he and James have three more feature film scripts which are currently being assessed by offshore production companies.

"Of all our projects, Precious is the one that's closest to our hearts," he adds. "We've known Precious the man for over 20 years and believe his inspirational story on the big screen will be every bit as powerful as Ghandi."

As for Precious himself - recently returned from setting new records at the World Powerlifting Championships in the US, he's bound for South Africa again in April to help the South African producers promote his film project to potential funders.


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