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Ovine Horror Stampedes Towards Toronto

Ovine Horror Stampedes Towards Toronto

Jonathan King's debut feature, the comedy horror BLACK SHEEP will have its world premiere in the Midnight Madness programme of the 31st Toronto International Film Festival in September.

In BLACK SHEEP, when a reckless genetic engineering experiment goes horribly wrong, a flock of innocent sheep is transformed into a pack of blood-thirsty killers.

"BLACK SHEEP is an outstanding contribution to the livestock gone amuck horror genre" said the Festival's Colin Geddes.

"Jonathan King twists our perception of these gentle creatures, delivering a nasty romp through the pastures of New Zealand that is as comical as it is terrifying. Created by renowned special effects house Weta Workshop (THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, KING KONG), these grisly beasts are sure to keep you from counting sheep for weeks to come."

Now in its 19th year, this popular late-night Midnight Madness programme showcases the best in off-kilter genre flicks including sci-fi, horror, outlandish comedy and outrageous documentaries.

Jonathan and his producer Philippa Campbell (RAIN; NO.2) will both be at the Festival to introduce the film at its world premiere on 10 September.

"It's the New Zealand movie that had to be made" says King who is thrilled with the selection. Campbell adds, "We can't imagine a better place to launch the film internationally than Midnight Madness. It's an honour to be in such terrific company."

"Toronto is an A-list Festival and we can expect a high profile for the film to be generated by the many international media covering the 10-day event" says NZ Film's Kathleen Drumm who is handling international sales. "Since the announcement today, I've been inundated with emails and phone calls from international distributors. Now all we have to do is persuade our Canadian friends to organize a flock of merinos to run through downtown Toronto the day of the premiere!"

The thirty-first annual Toronto International Film Festival will be held from September 7 to 16, 2006.

BLACK SHEEP will be released in New Zealand in 2007 by Hoyts Distribution on behalf of Icon Film Distribution. Icon has also acquired British rights.


The New Zealand Film Commission's main purpose is to invest in the development, production, marketing and sales of New Zealand films, both domestically and internationally.

It does this through:

* Direct financial support for script development and production of projects that meet funding criteria. * Sales and marketing activity - particularly through the promotion of New Zealand films at major international markets and festivals. * Professional development by facilitating and funding relevant opportunities for script writers, directors and producers. * Support for NZ film industry infrastructure such as guilds, associations and film festivals.

Last year the NZFC invested $19.3 million into the NZ film industry.

The NZFC was established in 1978. It is based in Wellington and has 19 dedicated staff.


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