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Melanie Lynskey & Tearepa Kahi join Tropfest


Thursday, October 6


Tropfest NZ. Photo Credit: Rob Tucker


In a vote of confidence for the longevity of the festival, Tropfest NZ today announced the addition of Melanie Lynskey and Tearepa Kahi as festival ambassadors, adding even more weight to an already impressive ambassador line-up.

Melanie Lynskey shares the same home town as Tropfest NZ and even starred in the Tropfest NZ 2012 finalist film A Kiwi Legend. She’s best known for her work in the motion pictures Ever After (1998), Sweet Home Alabama (2002), Up In The Air (2009), and Hello I Must Be Going (2012), as well as Peter Jackson’s 1994 film Heavenly Creatures, for which she won the award for Best Actress at the 1995 New Zealand Film and Television Awards.

On the small screen Melanie is best known for her role as Rose on Two and a Half Men and as Michelle in HBO's Togetherness. Lynksey said she is honoured to be a Tropfest Ambassador, “It's always exciting to see new talent emerging and I am happy to be involved with an organization that is helping people's creative visions be seen. The best way to learn how to make films is to start making films!”

Tearepa Kahi is a Māori Film-maker and Board Member of the NZIFF. Kahi made two international award winning short films, The Speaker (2005) and Taua: War Party (2007). His first feature film was Mt. Zion, the box-office smash of 2013 and his latest feature is the box office hit documentary, POI E: the story of our song.

Kahi formed a relationship with Taranaki during the making of Poi E and said becoming a Tropfest ambassador was a chance to keep that bond alive, “nothing serves the storyteller, who is searching for their voice, like the battleground of making a short film. Except of course the moment one shares the result of that creative struggle with a live audience! Tropfest standing alongside Koro Taranaki means only one thing for all short film makers - Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui!”

CEO Suzanne Porter of the Taranaki Arts Festival Trust, the organisers and presenters of Tropfest NZ said the festival was elated with the new support, “it is a real joy to welcome our new ambassadors to the Tropfest NZ family. They’ve both made outstanding contributions to the film industry and will no doubt be sources of inspiration to our filmmakers.”

Current Tropfest NZ ambassadors include Taika Waititi, Sam Neill, Sara Wiseman, Martin Henderson, Robyn Malcolm, John Barnett, Vincent Ward and Katie Wolfe. As well as attending the main screening event, Tropfest NZ Festival ambassadors have previously gotten involved in a number of ways, filling the roles of Roughcut presenter, pre-selection judge and judge at the main screening event.

“Watch this space” Porter advised, “You may see our new ambassadors walking the red carpet come February at Tropfest NZ 2017.”

The short film competition and festival provides sixteen talented filmmakers with the chance to kick start their careers and screen their film to an audience of thousands including industry heavyweights. Past finalists have gone on to international festival success in North America, Europe and Australia.

Entry criteria is simple: films must be 7 minutes or less, and must include the Tropfest Signature Item (TSI) for 2017, which is FLAME. The TSI can be included in any way the filmmaker chooses. Submitted films must have their worldwide premiere (including online) at Tropfest NZ.

The entry deadline for submissions is 6PM Friday 25 November 2016

The main screening event will take place on Saturday, 18 February 2017, at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands in New Plymouth.


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