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The Weight of Elephants to premiere in Berlin

Demos Murphy as Adrian in The Weight of Elephants.

From the New Zealand Film Commission Friday, 18 January 2013

The Weight of Elephants to premiere in Berlin

Writer/director Daniel Joseph Borgman’s debut feature film The Weight of Elephants has been selected to premiere in the Forum and Generation sections of the Berlin International Film Festival.

Forum is considered the most daring section of the Festival with films straddling the line between art and cinema. This year, attempts to find new certainties and realignments characterise Forum's selection. The Generation programme is thematically and aesthetically linked to the experiences of children and young people.

Inspired by the award-winning novel Of A Boy by critically acclaimed Australian novelist Sonya Hartnett, The Weight of Elephants tells the story of Adrian, a sensitive young boy struggling with his fears and anxieties since the disappearance of three kids in his small town. Then one day he meets Nicole, a mysterious, crazy, frightening, wonderful girl who moves in next door with her little sister and brother. They might just be everything Adrian ever wanted.

The film is a screen debut for New Zealand child actors Demos Murphy (Adrian) and Angelina Cottrell (Nicole), supported by award-winning actors Matthew Sunderland (Out of the Blue, The Devil’s Rock, Tracker) and Catherine Wilkin (Tangiwai, McLeod's Daughters, The Saddle Club).

In 2010 Borgman’s short film Berik was awarded the Grand Prix at the Semaine de la Critique in Cannes; the previous year his film Lars and Peter screened in the Cannes Film Festival Official Selection, Short Film Competition. Borgman’s script for The Weight of Elephants was selected for residential script development at Cinéfondation in Paris, supported by the Cannes Film Festival, in 2010. Created in 1988, this is the first New Zealand project to be selected by the Cinéfondation.

Shot in Southland, New Zealand in March last year, The Weight of Elephants is a co-venture between the New Zealand Film Commission and the Danish Film Institute and Film i Väst with support from the Invercargill City Council, Invercargill Licensing Trust, Southern Institute of Technology and the MEDIA Programme of the European Union. The film is produced by Danish producer Katja Adomeit for Zentropa (Denmark) and New Zealand producer Leanne Saunders for Severe Features (New Zealand) and is the first unofficial feature film co-production between these two countries.

Zentropa was founded in 1992 by Danish director Lars von Trier and producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen. The company is the largest film production company in Scandinavia, producing more than 100 international and Scandinavian quality features, co-productions and low budget films, most recently The Hunt (Thomas Vinterberg), Love is all you need (Susanne Bier), A Royal Affair (Nikolaj Arcel) and Melancholia (Lars von Trier).

The film will be distributed in New Zealand and Australia by Transmission Films. NZ Film, the sales arm of the New Zealand Film Commission, is handling ROW sales for the film.


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