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NZ’s Biggest Audience for Outdoor Short Film Fest


26 February 2006

For Immediate Release

Ponsonby Hosts New Zealand’s Biggest Audience for Outdoor Short Film Festival

Historic Richmond Road School in Ponsonby will once again host the biggest New Zealand audience for a outdoor short film festival on March 25. Now in its 5th year, the Richmond Road Short Film Festival showcases the work of up and coming and leading New Zealand short film makers who compete for awards in four categories.

This acclaimed annual event started in 2001 as an innovative way to raise funds for the school. It is now a highlight on the New Zealand film calendar, as well as an event eagerly awaited by Ponsonby residents and New Zealand film buffs.

The festival hosts world and New Zealand premieres of short films and is New Zealand’s only short film festival for existing films. 2005 finalist “Boy” was short listed for this year’s Oscars and was named Best International Film at the 2005 Berlin Short Film Festival.

Films are screened under the stars in the grounds of Richmond Road School on a giant 40ft x 20ft inflatable screen. Robbie Magasiva will MC the evening, with live entertainment, gourmet food stalls and a licensed bar rounding off a fun night out.

At the end of the evening, winning films will be announced in four categories:

- Best Screenplay
- Best Direction
- Best Performance – Best Actor and Best Actress
- Best Short Film Overall

On the night the audience will also decide a People’s Choice Award by text voting. Winners receive a ‘Richie’, Richmond Road’s answer to an Oscar.
This year’s festival attracted more than 45 short film entries, with 12 finalists selected to screen on the night of March 25. The finalists will be judged by a line-up of leading film makers and industry talent. 2005 judges included actor Cliff Curtis and director Taika Waititi.

Films must run for no more than 20 minutes duration to qualify and must involve one key creative (writer, director or producer) who is a New Zealand citizen or permanent New Zealand resident.

Last year’s film festival attracted an audience of 1,500 people with awards going to:

Best Screenplay: Te Radar and Company for “The Journey”
Best Direction: Brendon Donovan for “Cockle”
Best Performance: Wi Kuki Kaa in “Turangawaewae”
Best Short Film Overall: “Turangawaewae”
People’s Choice Award: “Turangawaewae”

Tickets are $20 and available from Ticketek and the Richmond Road School office, with limited gate sales on the night. Some seating is provided although the audience is welcome to bring seats, cushions and rugs. (The rain date is Sunday March 26.)


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