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Crowdfunding sought for Lee Tamahori to make second NZ film


Crowdfunding sought for Lee Tamahori to return home and make second New Zealand film


New Zealanders have a chance to invest in Lee Tamahori's second New Zealand film. The last 5% of the funding for The Patriarch ($500,000) is being sought via the country's first equity crowdfunding platform, Snowball Effect, and investors will be rewarded with a stake in the film's profits.

Producer Robin Scholes, who has produced New Zealand feature films like Once Were Warriors, Rain and most recently Mr Pip, says, “This is a great opportunity for film lovers and genuine investors alike to play a vital part in getting an exceptional film made, while also having the ability to gain a return for investment through this new form of crowd funding.”

Lee Tamahori's first film, Once Were Warriors, was a huge cultural, critical and financial success. It returned more than $6.5 million to its kiwi investors and catapulted the director into an international film career. Tamahori went on to make huge hollywood films like James Bond's Die Another Day, Along Came a Spider starring Morgan Freeman and The Edge starring Antony Hopkins.

Twenty years after the release of Once Were Warriors, Lee Tamahori wants to come back to New Zealand and make another film with the same team, including producer Robin Scholes and actor Temuera Morrison.

Shaun Edlin, head of Snowball Effect’s company pipeline, says “We are really excited that Robin and the team behind The Patriarch want to offer this film investment opportunity to New Zealanders through Snowball Effect. It’s our chance to show the world how innovative equity crowdfunding can be. If Kiwis get behind this offer, it will demonstrate that equity crowdfunding can be utilised to fund commercially viable creative projects and one-off events”.

The Patriarch is based on Witi Ihimaera's novel, Bulibasha. It is a classic story of the struggle of family dynamics and the conflict of generations for a rural East Coast Maori family in 1950s New Zealand.

Ihimaera has said that this is Tamahori's " return home" film based on one of his best-loved novels Bulibasha. Witi says, “Lee's talent as a film maker combined with John Collee's strong script, will deliver a film with universal appeal."

For Tamahori the story is a return to the sights and scenes of his childhood. He says he has a personal empathy and understanding of the era, the place and the people at the heart of Ihimaera's story. “I badly want to put this environment and its characters on the big screen. They deserve no less."

“I haven't seen a script with this much power, a story so strong since Once Were Warriors,” says Temuera Morrison. “Our best stories and our best work comes from our own earth and our own country and we have a story to do this with The Patriarch.”

Producer Robin Scholes explains, “The people who put money forward for this final $500,000 will be part of an elite tier of investors. They will be first priority to recoup their capital along with a 20% premium from net income. Other rewards for investors include being named in the film credits, invitations to the set during filming and invitations to the film's premier.

The goal is to raise $500,000 by beginning of October so that Tamahori can return to New Zealand to begin work on The Patriarch in December.

“It's time for him to come home, make one of our real stories and work with some real actors as well – enough of those Hollywood ones!” says Morrison.

Snowball Effect made headlines in August by launching the first ever equity crowdfunding offer in New Zealand, where Renaissance Brewing's $700,000 funding target was fully subscribed in less than 2 weeks from 287 investors.


To watch the pitch video visit:

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