Posted Tuesday 18 Oct 2011
The NZ Film Commission has offered three teams of filmmakers the opportunity to produce their low budget films through the Escalator low budget feature film initiative 2011. Escalator provides an opportunity for film-makers to form teams and experience together long-form story telling from development through to post-production. Now in its second year, the scheme attracted a total of 133 applications. The final three films were selected by a panel of industry members and an NZFC staff member: Shuchi Kothari, Paul Murphy, Thomas Burstyn, Julian Harvey & Katherine Fry (NZFC Script Executive). Making the announcement, NZFC CEO Graeme Mason said an extremely high calibre of projects was received this year and choosing only three projects was not a reflection of the quality. "It is difficult to conceive a film achievable on a low budget of $250,000 and the panel took their responsibility very seriously to ensure that the projects that got through were not only great stories but also had a realistic plan to achieve the film above and beyond calling in favours and doing deals. There was plenty of heated debate by the panel but in the end the decisions were unanimous." This year each film addressed key concerns from the panel about how to deliver a film for a very small budget. The money not allocated this year will be redirected back into the production funding pool. The three feature films that were green lit are: Fantail - Writer: Sophie Henderson, Director: Curtis Vowell, Producer: Sarah Cook Stealing Tommy - Writer/ Director: Max Currie, Producers: Luke Robinson and Tom Hern. Shirley and the Hungary Bear - Writer: Wayne Ching, Director: Alan Dickson, Producer: Glen Real For more details about Escalator, see the website.