Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


NZ filmmaker breaks rules at London Film Festival

New Zealand filmmaker breaks rules at London Film Festival

Truant, Michael
Click to enlarge

Truant, Michael
Click to enlarge


9 October 2006

For immediate release

New Zealand filmmaker breaks rules at London Film Festival

A short film by New Zealand director Michael Duignan has been selected to screen this month at the BFI 50th London Film Festival.

Truant is part of a programme of international films applauded for breaking the rules to create outstanding cinema in the short film format.

The 15-minute tale of a teenage boy and his fascination with an enchanting and dangerous older girl was produced in Auckland last year by Rachel Gardner and Maxim Films. Since then it has screened at film festivals in New Zealand and around the world. It was one of only 13 short films selected for the prestigious New York Film Festival 2005 alongside Oscar winning films Capote and Good Night and Good Luck.

Duignan says he is “really excited and honoured” to be part of the festival. The 29-year-old Auckland-based director is travelling to London to attend screenings of his film in a programme called ‘Death to Short Film’ at the National Film Theatre on October 31 and November 1.

London Film Festival programme director, Philip Ilson describes the selection as “international films that present us with fully realised original visions and slices of life that transcend the shorts genre, brought to us by filmmakers who break the rules and give us an exciting and essential cinema in shortened form.”

The festival is presented by the British Film Institute, an organisation Duignan has long admired. “I used to skip class and spend afternoons in the library reading old Sight and Sound magazines (published by the BFI),” he says. “It is amazing to be there in the festival’s 50th year.”

Duignan, who writes as well as directs, is currently developing several feature film projects including an adaptation of the novel Breakwater by his sister, Kate Duignan.

Born in Wellington, Duignan attended Victoria University where he studied film and philosophy. He was then selected for the highly competitive Masters of Arts in Directing at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School in Sydney. Alumni of the school include Jane Campion (The Piano) and Christine Jeffs (Rain, Sylvia).

Since graduating Duignan has directed television commercials in Sydney and Auckland. This year, he won a silver AXIS at the national advertising industry awards. He has recently joined production company Exile Films, which also represents Jeffs.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland