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Tropfest NZ 2014 Finalists Announced

29 January 2014

Tropfest NZ 2014 Finalists Announced

Tropfest New Zealand today announced the 15 talented filmmakers whose films will screen live at the NZ edition of the world’s largest short film festival on February 16 at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands in New Plymouth.

“There is a diverse range of great shorts covering genres from mockumentary, comedy, action and drama to animation and music video,” says Trust Chief Executive Suzanne Porter. “We expect the thousands who will turn out for the event will enjoy a highly entertaining evening of short film.”

“The response to the Festival this year has been fantastic,” Porter adds. “It confirms Tropfest’s place on the annual film festival scene in this our second year of competition.”

The jury panel for Tropfest NZ 2014 will comprise of industry professionals from around New Zealand, with the films judged live on the night.

The 15 selected films and their filmmakers will vie for First Prize, winning a five-day trip to Los Angeles to meet film executives, sponsored by the New Zealand Screen Association and Motion Picture Association.

Prizes of $2,500 will be awarded to Best Maori Director (thanks to Wairoa Maori Film Festival, Ngā Aho Whakaari, Te Puni Kōkiri), Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Animated Film (Youbee School of Design) and Best Use of Visual Effects (Youbee School of Design).

The films and their directors are:

Directed by Natasha Romaniuk
From: Auckland.
About the finalists/film:
• Natasha spent 10 years in the UK on numerous BBC productions before returning to NZ, where she has worked on many successful NZ dramas and tele-features.
• Natasha has a double degree from Otago and a post-grad diploma in Broadcast Communications from Auckland.

Directed by Andrew Cooper
From: Auckland
About the finalists/film:
• Andrew stumbled into film while working on filmmaking colleague Nicola Peeperkoorn’s first feature film ‘The Richmond Family Massacre’.
• Andrew currently spends his weekdays as a marketing manager and many nights and weekend writing with his collaborators Nicola and Greg Smith.
• The trio is currently working on their newest feature film ‘Sex with an Alien’.

Directed by Lennie Hill
From: Auckland
About the finalists/film:
• Lennie is a photographer, DOP/cameraman and director of film and video who completed a diploma in GFX Motion Graphics at the age of 47.
• Lived the past 20 years in Asia—Singapore, Beijing and Shanghai.
• Now working on the production of his first independent feature film to be shot this year in Tahiti and the northern group of the Cook Islands.

Directed by Nick Garrett
FROM: Auckland
About the finalists/film:
• Nick is a previous Tropfest finalist with his 2013 drama Stop.
• An accomplished musician who composes the scores to his own films.

Directed by Walter Lawry
From: Auckland
About the finalists/film:
• Walter has been directing short films since he was 16.
• Earned an Honours degree in Screen Production at the University of Auckland where he completed short film BLIND MICE, which has screened at 10 international film festivals.
• Spent 6 months in South East Asia working as a volunteer teaching English and producing two short documentaries.

Directed by Nicola King
From: New Plymouth
About the finalists/film:
• Nicola’s studies in Visuals Arts, Photography and Film & Video at the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki and her fascination with vintage cameras—particularly Polaroids—make their presence felt in her Tropfest entry.

Directed by Jane Fletcher
From: Wellington
About the finalists/film:
• Jane trained as a lawyer before realising her future lay in filmmaking.
• Involvement in the BBC/Northern Ireland Screen paid traineeship programme Aim High included a stint on HBO's Game of Thrones.
• A previous short film went on to screen at major UK festivals.
• Tropfest NZ production had a ‘massive’ budget of $600.
• Student of MA in Scriptwriting at the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University.

Directed by Allan George
FROM: Auckland
About the finalists/film:
• Allan is a previous Tropfest finalist with his 2013 comedy Sounds Perfect, which won him Best Maori Director and was selected for international festivals in Canada and the U.S.
• ON THE ROCKS is an ongoing collaboration for Allan with filmmaking partner Greg Stubbings—Best Actor award winner for Tropfest 2013 in Sounds Perfect, former presenter on TV series The Crowd Goes Wild and now reporter on daily Current Affairs show Seven Sharp.

Directed by Matt Gibson
From Auckland
About the finalists/film:
• Matt’s path to filmmaking started with an interest in acting at school, followed by film school and then working at TV3.
• PAUL LAWRENCE is his first film festival submission ever.

Directed by Chris Morton
FROM: Sydney, Australia
About the finalists/film:
• Chris is a Kiwi/Aussie filmmaker with film in his genes, thanks to his father who worked in the industry.
• Written and directed several shorts, acted and worked in various different film industry roles since a very young age
• Attended the Australian Film, Television and Radio School.

Directed by Luke Bremner
From: Dunedin
About the finalists/film:
• Luke followed a stint at film and television school with directing a number of shorts, and now has his first feature film in post production.

Directed by Daniel Pettit
From: Wellington
• Daniel studied film for three years before plunging into 3D animation, which he has brought to this animated production.

Directed by Joel Garman
From: Invercargill
About the finalists/film:
• Joel is a previous Tropfest finalist with his 2013 drama Tunnel.
• A degree in Digital Media from Southern Institute of Technology.
• A passion first and foremost for cinematography, then writing, directing, editing and colour grading.

Directed by Michael McAdam
From: Upper Hutt
About the finalists/film:
• Michael is a previous Tropfest finalist with his 2013 drama Peers.
• A member of the ‘Crispy Boys’ filmmaking collective, who are all under 20 years old.
• Success in a number of other NZ short film festivals.

Directed by Adam Harvey
From: Waikato
About the finalists/film:
• Adam is a Waikato-based filmmaker and a lapsed doctor.
• Has a love of genre films and firmly believes that every character-based drama could be improved by adding a spaceship, ghost or post-apocalyptic setting.
• His dream is to build up to a horror feature film, based on his previous career as a surgeon.

All the films entered into Tropfest NZ are seven minutes or less and must contain the Tropfest Signature Item (TSI), which in 2014 is ‘GLASSES’.

In 2013, Tropfest NZ drew an audience in excess of 8,000 to enjoy the festive atmosphere in the TSB Bowl of Brooklands’ stunning natural amphitheatre. Festival organisers expect similar audience numbers this year.

It is free to attend Tropfest, but a gold coin donation can be made on the night.

On the day prior to Tropfest, the all-day Roughcut film symposium will be held in downtown New Plymouth. Speakers will include the international award-winning Australian ’pocket’ filmmaker Jason van Genderen, renowned New Zealand actors Craig Hall and Stephen Hunter, and entertainment reporter Kate Rodger.

About Tropfest Roughcut
A Tropfest spin-off event, Roughcut was created to cultivate outstanding storytelling on screen and to foster a culture of dynamic and creative filmmakers.

On Saturday 15 February, Roughcut will play host to a line-up of industry talent who will speak about the game changing moments, jobs, choices, and knowledge that it takes to forge a successful career in the film industry.

Sharing their insights and film industry experience at this year’s Roughcut will be critically acclaimed New Zealand actor Craig Hall, award-winning Australian pocket filmmaker Jason van Genderen, independent documentary maker Heather O’Leary, entertainment reporter Kate Rodger, entertainment lawyer, writer and producer Tim Riley, New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) Short Film Manager Whetu Fala, and screenwriter, playwright and NZFC Development Executive Briar Grace-Smith.

Registration will be available from 9.30am on Saturday 15 February 2014 and the symposium will kick off at 10am with an approximate end time of 4.30pm.

WHEN: Saturday 15 February 2014, 10am – 4.30pm
WHERE: 4th Wall Theatre, 11 Baring Tce, Strandon, New Plymouth
TICKETS: $28 pp, tickets on sale now at

About Tropfest
Tropfest began in Sydney 22 years ago when director John Polson showed a six-minute film he made for under $100 at his local café (‘The Tropicana’) in Sydney for 200 friends and family. Today the free Australian event is attended annually by a live audience of around 150,000 film-lovers and hundreds of thousands more watching via its live national TV broadcast and other platforms.

In the past two decades, Tropfest has become recognised as one of the world's most exciting launchpads for emerging filmmakers. Tropfest is also known for securing the support of some of the biggest names in the international film community including Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Geoffrey Rush, Liev Schreiber and Tobey Maguire. Tropfest launched last year in New Zealand, Arabia and in the USA with Tropfest Las Vegas and Tropfest New York.

The Tropfest YouTube Channel. Past Finalist films can be viewed at Tropfest’s YouTube channel: The channel has 45,920 subscribers and the films have been viewed more than 25,413,000 times.

The first Tropfest NZ event was held in 2012. In 2013 the Tropfest NZ competition began and was attended by 8,000 people. The winner was a short film called ‘Cappuccino Tango’, directed by Taranaki local Dave Smith.

TROPFEST NZ – The world’s largest short film festival, now in New Zealand – 16 February 2014, Taranaki.


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