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NZ debut feature to premiere in Sundance Film Festival

From the New Zealand Film Commission Thursday, 29 November 2012

New Zealand debut feature to premiere in competition at 2013 Sundance Film Festival

Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland’s debut feature film, Shopping, has been selected to premiere in the World Cinema Dramatic competition of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, held in and around Park City, Utah on January 17-27 and widely regarded as the premier US showcase for American and international independent film. Each year the Sundance Film Festival selects approximately 200 films for exhibition from nearly 12,000 submissions. Roughly 50,000 people attend screenings in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Sundance, Utah.
Albiston and Sutherland are the writing/directing team behind acclaimed New Zealand shorts The Six Dollar Fifty Man and Run. Both films were honoured by the Cannes Short Film jury with a Special Distinction in the Short Film Competition at the 2009 and 2007 (respectively) Cannes International Film Festival. The Six Dollar Fifty Man also received the Jury Prize for International Short Filmmaking at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and was long-listed for the 2011 Academy Awards. In 2010 Albiston and Sutherland were recipients of the New Zealand Arts Foundation’s New Generation Awards.

Set in New Zealand 1981, muscle cars, racial tensions and a thieving bird all inform the small town life of half-Samoan brothers Willie and Solomon. After a chance encounter with charismatic thief Bennie and his close-knit gang of ‘shoppers’, Willie is seduced into a criminal world that allows him to escape mounting tensions with his volatile father. But as Bennie’s hold over him grows, Willie finds himself in over his head; and when Solomon is left to fend for himself at home, Willie’s two worlds collide with shattering consequences.

Shopping was shot earlier this year on the Kapiti Coast and in Wellington, New Zealand and stars Jacek Koman (Moulin Rouge, Australia, Defiance, The Hunter) as Bennie; and introduces Kevin Paulo as Willie and Julian Dennison as Solomon.

Produced by Warp Films Australia’s Anna McLeish and Sarah Shaw (producers of Cannes awarded Snowtown) Shopping was financed by the New Zealand Film Commission with support from Fulcrum Media Finance. It will be distributed in New Zealand and Australia by Madman Entertainment with a New Zealand theatrical release currently scheduled for 2013. NZ Film, the sales arm of the NZFC, is handling world sales of the film. New Zealand films Boy (2010), Eagle vs Shark (2008), No. 2 (2005) and Whale Rider (2003) have all previously premiered at the festival, with the latter two awarded the festival’s World Audience Prizes.

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