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New international arts residency launched

New international arts residency launched

Filmmaker Florian Habicht named inaugural recipient for New York residency

The Harriet Friedlander Scholarship Trust, with support from the Arts Foundation of New Zealand, has launched a prestigious New York residency and named its inaugural recipient.

The inaugural recipient for the bi-annual Harriet Friedlander Residency is highly-acclaimed New Zealand underground filmmaker Florian Habicht.

The residency is valued at NZ$80,000, making it one of the most generous international residencies available to New Zealand artists.

Established by dedicated supporter of the Auckland arts, the late Harriet Friedlander, the Harriet Friedlander Scholarship Trust will provide all finance for the residency.

Jason Friedlander, son of the late Mrs Friedlander, said his mother’s love for the arts, New York and its arts scene was life-long.

“Her vision was to allow an artist to immerse him or herself in the vibrant culture of New York without any expectations or responsibilities on the recipient.

“The residency will expose New Zealand artists to a different environment and assist in the artist’s development and provide new opportunities.”

Mr Friedlander congratulated Mr Habicht, saying he was an ideal first recipient.

Mr Habicht said he was overwhelmed by the residency.

“When I was told, I was just returning from a test screening of an all-consuming three-year project. While waiting for a flight at Auckland International Airport, I speculated on the fact that I had no plans for the future. I watched a plane take off and dreamed about journeying overseas to reflect and develop ideas. The offer of the residency came at a perfect time.”

The Arts Foundation has agreed to select recipients and manage the residency including assisting the artist with contacts in New York in to the future. The length of the residency will be agreed with each recipient.

Arts Foundation chair Ros Burdon said it was a privilege to help the Friedlander family realise Mrs Friedlander’s dream.

“The residency is an invaluable one for New Zealand artists to aspire to. We encourage Florian to take full advantage of the opportunities that will be presented to him.”

She congratulated Mr Habicht on his selection, saying he was a resourceful, independent and original filmmaker who had experienced success at a young age and whose potential was tremendous.

Florian's latest documentary Rubbings from a Live Man will premiere in the New Zealand International Film Festivals during July.


Florian Habicht is one of New Zealand’s leading underground filmmakers. His digital feature Woodenhead, a surreal musical fairytale, became a cult hit in New Zealand and screened at a range of leading international film festivals.

Born in Germany, Florian moved to New Zealand at the age of eight with his family. He has directed a number of films including Liebesträume 2000, Woodenhead 2003 and Kaikohe Demolition 2004. Woodenhead is renowned for the innovation of recording the dialogue before shooting the film using different actors and Kaikohe Demolition won the Best Digital Feature at the New Zealand Screen Awards in the year it was released. Florian has also developed a feature script Permissive Paradise at the Binger Filmlab in Amsterdam.

Recently Florian completed the feature Rubbings from a Live Man, documentary performed by and based on the life of Warwick Broadhead which he co-produced with Philippa Campbell. Long time collaborator Chris Pryor is Director of Photography. Rubbings from a Live Man will premiere in the New Zealand International Film Festival in July. Florian says of this production “in a career that spans forty years, Warwick Broadhead has conceived, directed and performed in over sixty original shows presented in a huge variety of venues both in New Zealand and abroad. He has never allowed his work to be recorded. But now, faced with a filmmaker’s provocations, the flamboyant performer is pushed to re-enact the highest and the lowest moments of his life using his own cast of alter egos.”

Florian is currently developing another documentary Land of the Long White Cloud. He likes the idea of having time in New York to “develop a new script, keeping some kind of visual diary, organising some screenings of Woodenhead, Kaikohe Demolition and Live Man”. He is also hoping Rubbings from a Live Man will screen in the Tribeca Film Festival.

About the Harriet Friedlander Residency
The residency is financed by the Harriet Friedlander Scholarship Trust and managed by the Arts Foundation of New Zealand.

The residency is available to an artist between the age of 30 and 40, who:
• Has developed an individual identity that demonstrates richness, range and depth;
• Stands for the strength and quality of his or her particular art-form in New Zealand, at his or her level;
• Is at an early stage of career, but has already demonstrated excellence and innovation;
• Is represented by an output of artistic work at high levels.

The purpose of the residency is to expose New Zealand artists to a different environment from New Zealand, in this case New York with its vibrant artistic and cultural community.

About The Arts Foundation of New Zealand
The Arts Foundation of New Zealand is a charitable Trust, independent from government that invests in excellence in New Zealand Arts.

The Foundation has an endowment fund, which generates income to support the arts. It encourages private individuals to support the endowment through donations and bequests. The endowment fund was originally set up through donations from the Lottery Grant Board and a three year loan of $1 million from an anonymous patron.

The Harriet Friedlander Residency is the Arts Foundation’s second partnership programme following the establishment of the Marti Friedlander Photographic Award. In addition to providing Awards and projects of its own design, the Foundation assists third parties to establish and administer programmes to achieve their objectives. Projects must meet the Foundation’s criteria of supporting artistic excellence, be substantial, self-funding and permanent.

Recipients of programmes produced in partnership with third parties are welcomed into the Foundation’s family of honoured artists. Announcements are celebrated at events and the career of the recipient is tracked through Foundation publications. The Foundation can provide administration services, selection of recipients and management of endowments to fund programmes. In all cases, projects can be perpetuated beyond the lifetimes of the founders

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