WIFT member wins at Japanese Fim Festival

Posted Monday 19 Aug 2013


Seventeen year old WIFT member Natasha Bishop, the youngest film-maker ever to have a film selected at the Japan Wildlife Film Festival (JWFF), is celebrating after winning two awards at the festival.

Her short film Arboraceous won the Best Newcomer and Best Animation awards at a gala awards ceremony in Toyama, Japan, this evening.

"I'm really amazed and honoured to win these awards." said Natasha, who is at the festival representing her film. "It's been an awesome experience to be at JWFF and to see my film screen with all these great films from around the world. To be given these awards just makes it even more special."

The biennial festival is the most prestigious of its kind in the Asia Pacific region. This year it selected just 43 films to screen in competition, with Arboraceous up against films made by the BBC, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) and other international broadcasting giants.

Arboraceous is entirely written, directed and animated by Natasha and she also composed and performed the film's music.

Created when she was just sixteen, Arboraceous was made for New Zealand's The Outlook for Someday sustainability film challenge for young people in 2012. It won the Department of Conservation Big Picture Award and was also honoured as The Body Shop Standout Winner.

Over the three days of the JWFF, Natasha and David Jacobs, director of The Outlook for Someday, ran three seminars for festival audiences and Japanese media.

"Arboraceous is a film that shows how our connections - to nature and to each other - are the key to sustainability. What better place for the film to be recognised than at an international festival that celebrates nature and conservation."

Watch Arboraceous:



Next Up...

White Lies to screen at TIFF

Posted Monday 19 Aug 2013

Congratulations to WIFT member John Barnett and the team at SPP. Their film White Lies/Tuakiri Huna has been invited to participate at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival in September.

Written and directed by acclaimed Mexican filmmaker Dana Rotberg (Otilia Rauda, Angel de Fuego, Intimidad) and based on the novella 'Medicine Woman' by Witi Ihimaera, author of 'The Whale Rider', White Lies/Tuakiri Huna stars singer/song-writer Whirimako Black in her debut acting role along with Rachel House (Whale Rider, Boy) and Antonia Prebble (Outrageous FortuneThe Blue Rose).

White Lies/Tuakiri Huna follows in the footsteps of South Pacific Pictures' Oscar�-nominated feature film Whale Rider as the second film collaboration between Producer John Barnett and author Witi Ihimaera that has been invited to participate at the Toronto International Film Festival. In September 2002, Whale Rider debuted at the Festival and went on to beat out 345 other films to win the Festival's AGF People's Choice Award.

White Lies/Tuakiri Huna opened in New Zealand cinemas on June 27  and is still screening in theatres nationwide. The film was shot in Te Urewera, Ruatahuna, Waikaremoana and Auckland in 2012 and was financed by the New Zealand Film Commission, the Screen Production Incentive Fund, NZ on Air and South Pacific Pictures.