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Fulbright scholar’s film selected for prestigious festival

05 May 2017

Waikato Fulbright scholar’s film selected for prestigious festival

Young American film-maker Nick Homler, a visiting Fulbright scholar with Waikato’s Screen & Media programme in 2015, has had his first full-length documentary selected for the 2017 Doc Edge International Documentary Film Festival.

Nick’s documentary The Reel People of New Zealand was co-produced with Waikato’s Screen & Media lecturer Associate Professor Geoff Lealand and inspired by Professor Lealand’s Cinemas of New Zealand website. It was selected for the prestigious festival by competition and takes audiences on a journey through New Zealand, visiting small and independent cinemas along the way.

Audiences will encounter projection booths from years gone by, cinemas returning to Christchurch post-earthquake, local communities bringing back film to their town, a wedding in a Waikato cinema, and a very unique viewing experience on Stewart Island. The film is about the past, present and possible future of film-going in Aotearoa.

Professor Lealand is proud of Nick’s achievement. “As the co-producer I provided contacts, facilities, ideas and a little inspiration along the way. But this is Nick’s film and I consider it an extraordinary achievement to have it selected for Doc Edge. During his time with the Screen & Media programme, Nick was an inspiration to our students and staff due to the days, nights and weekends he spent putting his film together,” says Professor Lealand.



The Doc Edge festival, now in its 12th year, will take place in Wellington from May 10 – 21 and Auckland from May 24 – June 5. It features some of the best documentaries from around the world including Europe, America, Asia, the Middle East and Australasia.

Since his Fulbright experience, Nick’s career in the film industry is off to a great start having worked on the PBS show Finding Your Roots, with the New York Rangers hockey team, and for media companies across the New York area.

When asked about his Fulbright film Nick replied, “I have kept in touch with many of the interviewees and I can honestly say that I have never experienced such generosity during my travels. This film is about them, the people who have devoted their lives to sharing the joy of cinema with their community. I hope that my audience takes notice of the everyday efforts that go into keeping their local cinema in business.”

Nick would also like to thank Professor Lealand, Fulbright New Zealand, the Screen & Media Studies staff, Marist College and the University of Waikato for all of their resources and assistance in making this film possible.

The Reel People of New Zealand will screen on May 12 at 4.30pm in Wellington’s The Roxy and on June 2 at 2.30pm in Auckland’s Q Theatre. For more information visit: http://docedge.nz/film/the-reel-people-of-new-zealand/


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