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Cannes winners direct to the Telecom Film Festival

Thursday 9th June 2005

Cannes winners direct to the Telecom New Zealand International Film Festivals

Four of the top award-winning films from this year’s Cannes Film Festival will have their first screenings outside of Europe at this year’s Telecom New Zealand International Film Festivals.

“The nationwide Festivals regularly target prize-winning films from Cannes (and other international festivals for that matter). This year’s screening of four Cannes winners equates with our previous best,” says Bill Gosden, Film Festival Director.

The ultimate prize at Cannes is the Palme d’Or, which was scooped last year by Michael Moore’s attention-grabbing Fahrenheit 9/11. This year’s winner, The Child, a feature film by Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, will also screen at the Telecom New Zealand International Film Festivals.

The Child, a riveting, at times alarmingly suspenseful moral tale of a feckless young hustler whose cavalier attitude to fatherhood takes him in to very deep waters indeed, has been described by Mr Gosden as “electrifyingly of-the- moment.”

Opening the Auckland and Wellington Festivals is Michael Haneke’s Hidden which won him Cannes’ Best Director award. Haneke’s film, which stars French actors Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche, is described as “a tough, provocative and utterly gripping, psychological thriller, that is poised to be the year’s most hotly debated film.” Michael Haneke’s unnerving pictures of contemporary malaise (notably the controversial The Piano Teacher) have featured in earlier Festivals.

The feature debut by American video performance artist Miranda July shared the Camera d’Or, Cannes’ prize for Best Film by a new director. Me, You and Everyone We Know is a funny, poignant and quirky tale which burrows into suburbia to illustrate a classic conundrum: kids who want to be grown-ups, and grown-ups who long for the irresponsibility of youth.

CONTINUES …

Wang Xiaoshuai’s Cannes’ Jury Prize winner brings a prime example of the new frankness of Chinese cinema to the Festival screen. Shanghai Dreams is a family drama dealing with the lasting fall-out from the policies of the 60s, which relocated Chinese families from the cities to the countryside.

This is the second year Telecom has sponsored the Festivals, helping the programmers to make the world of film accessible to even more New Zealanders through increased marketing resources and the development of a study guide for secondary school students. More than 200,000 tickets were sold to last year’s Festivals.

Quality AND quantity make up this year’s programme which draws from a pool of over 150 features, documentaries, animated and short films, hand picked by the Festivals’ programmers over the last year from all over the world.

The entire programme will be announced in Auckland on 14 June and Wellington 16 June.

Festival dates: Auckland July 8-24, Wellington July 15 - 31, Dunedin July 22 - August 7, Christchurch July 29 - August 14, Palmerston North August 4 – 21, Hamilton August 11 - 28, Napier August 17 - September 4, Tauranga August 25 - September 7, New Plymouth September 1 -14, Nelson September 8 – 21, Masterton October 12 – 26, Queenstown October 27 - November 9TBC, Levin November 3 – 16, Gisborne November 10 – 23, Whangarei November 17 - 30. And this year for the first time the Film Festival will visit Greymouth September 30 – October 2

The 2005 website www.nzff.telecom.co.nz awaits your visit.

ENDS

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