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NZ Film ‘Crackheads’ Wins Official Selection Film Festivals

Press Release – Wednesday 2 October 2013

NZ Film ‘Crackheads’ Wins Official Selection to Mexico and Austin Film Festivals

Austin Film Festival and Oaxaca Film Festival recognize “NZ’s Breaking Bad”

Auckland, New Zealand: Tim Tsikaluri’s debut feature film Crackheads has won Official Selection into the Oaxaca Film Festival (Oaxaca City, Mexico - 21-28 September) and Austin Film Festival (Austin, Texas - 24-31 October), with the world premier having taken place on September 26 in Oaxaca.

Now in it’s fourth year, the Oaxaca Film Festival has grown to be one of the largest International Film Festivals in Latin America. Crackheads debuted in competition, as part of the Emergence Features section.

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the Austin Film Festival, which has selected Crackheads as one of only eight films worldwide to compete in the Narrative Features section.

Director Tim Tsikaluri has been invited to a panel discussion at the Austin Film Festival – “Keeping the Vision Big With a Limited Budget”. Other distinguished panelists at this year’s festival include Robert Rodriguez (Sin City), Diana Alvarez (The Hunger Games), Lee Aronsohn (Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory), Shane Black (Iron Man 3) & Rian Johnson (Looper).

Hailed as a “the world’s first black comedy about crack”, Crackheads is a cautionary tale about P (or “crack”), one of the world’s most insidious drugs. Four unlikely friends each have their own reasons for succumbing to the drug in this “comedy with substance about substance abuse”.

When conflicted (and slightly racist) Catholic Priest Nick (Jeremy Birchall) is presented with a bag of P by a worried parishioner, his murky past starts to surface and takes Thomas (an OCD psychologist – Preston O’Brien), Raj (an out-of-work Indian actor – Alvin Maharaj) and Jimmy (a sex-obsessed used car salesman – Kurt Stowers) for a hilarious roller coaster ride through the highs and lows of addiction.

Director, co-writer Tim Tsikaluri’s and Producer, co-writer Andy Sophocleous latest short film Russian Dolls recently had it’s world debut at the MashROME Film Festival in Italy.

Tim is originally from the Republic of Georgia. He has directed 7 shorts including Roy which premiered at the Show Me Shorts Film Festival in 2012. He is currently working on his next feature Tamada, which combines both kiwi and Georgian cultures, in development with the NZ Film Commission.

Andy has a multi disciplinary background. As an actor he has been in 7 feature films, various TV productions, including Go Girls and Shortland Street, and over 25 short films. As a writer he has written eight feature films, one of which has been in development with the NZ Film Commission.

Co-Producer Nicola Peeperkoorn has produced over 30 short films and cult NZ feature ‘The Richmond Family Massacre.’ She will be joining Tim for the US Premiere of Crackheads in Austin before travelling to the American Film Market in Los Angeles.

In early 2009 the idea for the movie ‘Crackheads’ was born.  It took three years of development to complete a lean and funny (if somewhat politically incorrect) shooting script and to raise the minimum amount of finance required to turn it into a motion picture. In mid 2012 ‘Crackheads’ was shot on RED, fully crewed, over four six-day weeks in 40 locations and with 44 speaking roles. It took almost another year of post-production to finish the film to DCP level.


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