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Film competition attracts big-name judges

Film competition attracts big-name judges

An exciting new short film competition has attracted some of New Zealand’s most well-known and experienced actors to adjudicate and judge aspiring Kiwi filmmakers.

The inaugural national Short Film Competition is part of CreationFest, which also combines wearable arts and live performance into a vibrant, innovative show being held over five performances at the Blue Baths in Rotorua in July.

Aspiring filmmakers throughout the country have the opportunity to showcase their talent in front of a judging panel made up of Michael Hurst, Angela Bloomfield, Amanda Billing and John Callen who will also co-ordinate the competition.

Both Angela and Amanda are best known as long-running stars of TV2’s Shortland Street, with Angela also directing the production for many years. John has worked as an actor, director and writer in New Zealand theatre, radio, film and television over the past 40 years. His most recent acting role was as a core cast member of The Hobbit, directed by multi-Academy Award-winning director Sir Peter Jackson.

Michael Hurst is one of New Zealand’s most well-known actors, with extensive directing and writing credits to his name. He has starred in high profile international series such as Hercules, Xena: Warrior Princess and Spartacus, and directed more than 30 works for TV and film.

CreationFest event manager and Blue Baths managing director Jo Romanes says the calibre of talent on the judging panel is exciting not only for the competition but for the whole film industry.

“We are thrilled at the level of interest in helping to foster aspiring filmmakers in New Zealand. The calibre of judges on the short-film judging panel highlights what a unique and passionate industry it is and we are privileged to have four such highly respected and experienced performers on board.

“Between them, the judging panel has more than 100 years acting, directing, mentoring and stage experience – this is an absolutely power-house of knowledge and we are absolutely thrilled to have them on board. Those entering the competition stand to gain a level of experience and benefit that would be difficult to get anywhere else.

“Film has become a credible industry in New Zealand with genuine career paths and it’s great to be able to give people a taste of what it could lead to through our event.”

CreationFest organisers are working with Reading Cinemas in Rotorua with a view to showing all films which meet the competition entry criteria, providing extra exposure for aspiring filmmakers.

The top two entries in each of the film competition youth and open sections will be shown during the five CreationFest runway shows, July 15-19th.

Each film must feature something of Rotorua, helping to connect it to an event which celebrates local creativity.

Mrs Romanes says there has been a “huge” level of interest to-date from possible entrants in the film competition.

“We wanted to broaden and complement the wearable arts show and live performances, and the film competition provides an extra opportunity for people all over New Zealand to participate in this much-loved event.”

CreationFest, formerly Wearable Creationz, is organised by the Blue Baths event management team and associated arts professionals, supported by the Rotorua Creative Arts Trust.

For further information about the Film Competition – and the wider CreationFest event – go to


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