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Dame Kate Harcourt awarded “Best Actress” first prize

Media Release

For Immediate Release

17 August 2011

Dame Kate Harcourt awarded “Best Actress” first prize for leading role in Pacific Dreams at international film festival

Dame Kate Harcourt has been awarded first prize in the Best Female Actress category for her leading role in the short film Pacific Dreams at the 2011 Rhode Island International Film Festival.

In Pacific Dreams, Dame Kate’s character Grace is a new arrival at a rest home run by a stern head nurse. The short independent Kiwi film depicts Grace, an elderly and determined lady, striving to bring life into a rest home where residents exist, but don’t live.

Director David Strong wrote and co-produced the short film which was shot in Wellington. Seasoned actors Don Langridge and Tina Cleary also feature in Pacific Dreams’ supporting cast.

As one of 200 films carefully chosen from over 4500 submissions in the Rhode Island festival, Pacific Dreams is gearing up to become an acclaimed success with its selection in other prominent festivals such as the 2011 New York City International Film Festival.

“I am very proud and happy for Dame Kate receiving such high-profile recognition for her work in Pacific Dreams. She is a beautiful and brilliant actress who brought depth and life to the film,” said David Strong.

“Working with her was a pleasure, and her stunning performance is a testament to her acting craft. Pacific Dreams was inspired by my mother Shirley’s time in a rest home, and Dame Kate really captured the essence of my mother’s experience.”

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“At 84 it is hard to find the perfect role, but this role was inspirational for both me and other older people, and it had great personal meaning to me. It was a very moving experience” says Dame Kate, one of New Zealand’s most accomplished and respected leading actresses.

“David was very generous and highly skilled. He’s a director with a real vision for what he wants to say. I hope this recognition helps him make more films.”

The award is the first Dame Kate has won for acting.

“I’ve never won an award for my acting before,” she says. “I was the vice captain of the B-hockey team at school in the 1940’s, and this sure beats that!”

The grand prize in the Best Female Actress category went to Oscar winner Melissa Leo for her role in The Sea is All I Know. The festival it is one of ten Academy Award affiliated festivals in the USA.

Pacific Dreams was also accepted to compete in the Mobile SIFF Competition at the prestigious 2011 Shanghai International Film Festival in June, the largest Film Festival in Asia which received over 10,000 entries.

“It’s a great honour for Pacific Dreams to be selected as a finalist in all of these film festivals. It is testament to the amazing work of everyone involved in bringing the film to life,” David Strong said.


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