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Three Finalists Selected For SPADA Award

27 October 2006

Three Finalists Selected For SPADA New Filmmaker Of The Year Award

Toa Fraser, Sándor Lau and The Simmonds Brothers are this year’s finalists for the prestigious SPADA New Filmmaker of the Year Award. The winner will be announced at the SPADA film and television conference next month in Auckland; with the winner standing to win $28,000 worth of prizes.

This year the judging panel consisted of industry professionals Jon Newell (Park Road Post), Elizabeth Mitchell (bro’ Town producer, Firehorse Films), and cinematographer Michael Seresin. “The extraordinary and diverse entries received this year impressed upon the judges the incredible talent and creativity displayed by our new filmmakers, as well as their ongoing commitment to the industry, resulting in the extremely difficult decision in choosing the finalists. The judges would like to thank all the entrants for the excellent work and the enjoyment we had in viewing and reading their impressive material”, said the judges’ spokesperson, Jon Newell.

The Award honours emerging New Zealand filmmakers who have displayed excellence, special talent and creativity in their filmmaking to date. “SPADA is committed to fostering and supporting emerging filmmakers and is proud to host this and organise this Award which recognises and celebrates new talent in the New Zealand screen industry”, said SPADA Chief Executive Penelope Borland.

Toa Fraser’s directorial debut was the hugely popular and successful No 2, which he also adapted for screen. No 2 won the World Dramatic Competition Audience Award at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, as well as four awards at the 2006 Air New Zealand Screen Awards. Toa also directed the music video for the New Zealand hit single Bathe In the River from the No 2 soundtrack.

Sándor Lau’s debut feature documentary, Squeegee Bandit, premiered at this year’s Telecom NZ International Film Festival in Auckland; and earned him two nominations and one award at the Air NZ Screen Awards. It also won Best Feature Documentary at the Wairoa International Maori Film Festival. Sándor grew up in Colorado, and lived in Mexico, Spain, France and Taiwan before settling in Aotearoa.

The Simmonds Brothers - Jeff and Phill - have been creating animations for almost ten years, progressing from simple animations for the internet to their most recent 35mm film project, A Very Nice Honeymoon, a 10 minute animation funded by the New Zealand Film Commission. The Simmonds Brothers have developed a unique and highly efficient system of producing 100% hand-drawn animation which they call ‘documation’. This year the Simmonds Brothers completed Rasta Rangi, an animated series for Māori Television, and had two of their “documations” selected for the Telecom New Zealand International Film Festival.

The SPADA New Filmmaker of the Year Award is made possible with the generous support of: Principal Sponsor, Park Road Post; and Sponsors: Panavision, FACB, Kodak, SKYCITY Cinemas, Stage and Screen Travel Services and Air New Zealand.


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