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Vigil invited to take part in the Cannes film festival

NZ film invited to take part in the Cannes film festival celebrations
April 25, 2014

Adjunct Professor Vincent Ward.

Vigil, the first feature film by filmmaker and University of Canterbury adjunct professor Dr Vincent Ward, will be screened as part of the Cannes film festival celebrations in France next month.

Vigil, which was nominated for Cannes nearly 30 years ago, will be re-screened among other acclaimed international movies which are invited back to the Cinema des Antipodes section of Cannes Cinéphiles 2014 for special reasons.

The New Zealand film is scheduled to be shown on the last Saturday of the Cannes Film Festival on May 24. Vigil was the first ever film from New Zealand to compete in Cannes (1984). Winner of the Best Film award at the Madrid Film Festival it is a powerful atmospheric drama set in a primeval valley where four characters live and farm in an uneasy coexistence.

Professor Ward says it is great to have visibility at Cannes which adds to the reputation of a film and therefore helps with the financing of his new film. The director of the Cannes Cinéphiles is also releasing the film Vigil on DVD in France.

``Even though the film was shown as being officially part of the competition in 1984 and released in many countries theatrically and on video, it never actually had a release in France where it premiered at the festival,’’ Professor Ward says.

``So now approximately 30 years later it is finally going into DVD release in France which is exciting.’’

Professor Ward became a fine arts honorary doctor of the University of Canterbury earlier this month. His films have been selected for three Cannes festivals. He is regarded as one of New Zealand’s most celebrated filmmakers and screenwriters and is a recognised artist.

As an adjunct professor Dr Ward wants to help motivate and inspire the next generation of young New Zealand filmmakers through his involvement at the university.

He will not attend the screening next month as he is screenwriting in Australia before heading to China to be on the jury of the Shanghai film festival and to work with artists at Shanghai University.


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