'HELP' wins Tropfest 2014

Posted Monday 17 Feb 2014

WIFT member Nicola Peeperkoorn and fellow short film director Andrew Cooper have taken out First Prize at Tropfest NZ 2014 with their film 'Help'. Check out Nicola's profile on our homepage.

'Help' was one of the 14 finalist short films which delighted an estimated crowd of 8,000 at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands in New Plymouth recently.

"We are surprised, shocked and honoured to win," said Cooper.

"We managed to bring together the people in our film to make magic happen," said Peeperkoorn. "The people that came out were amazing, too. There's nothing better as a filmmaker than seeing the audience reaction."

'Help' tells the story of a support group leader for wickedly weird addictions who discovers that he has his own.

"It had a great twist in it, was really well shot and acted, and cut straight to the chase," said renowned New Zealand actor and director Michael Hurst. "It was a clear winner for us."

Hurst was one of five industry judges who selected the quirky tale for top honour.

Sponsored by the Motion Picture Association and NZ Screen Association, First Prize is a return flight to Los Angeles to meet with film and TV executives, five nights accommodation and $500 spending money.

"The skill level of the finalists was extraordinary," said NZ Screen Association Managing Director Tony Eaton. "With the new young generation coming through, we are incredibly proud to be sponsor and a part of this industry."

With a cast of more than 25 in 'Help', one performance stood out. Greg Smith received the Best Actor Award for his role in the film.

The other award winners were:

Taranaki Arts Festival Trust Best Actress: Yola Brown in 'Bea Spectacled'.

Yoobee School of Design Best Animated Film: David Petit for 'The Lighthouse Keeper'.

Ng? Aho Whakaari/Wairoa Maori Film Festival/Te Puni K?kiri Best Maori Director: Allan George for 'On the Rocks'.

Yoobee School of Design Best Use of Visual Effects: Adam Harvey for 'You Only Die Forever'.

Tropfest International Managing Director Michael Laverty was on hand to announce "WIRE" as the Tropfest Signature Item (TSI) for 2015.

Kim Muriwai, chair of the M?ori in film and television body Ng? Aho Whakaari, was a first time attendee at Tropfest. "It was wonderful to see families together enjoying a wide range of films," she said. "It's such a great opportunity and we'll be doing our best to make sure our talented filmmakers enter."

"It was a great turnout from the audience, the weather was perfect and we were delighted at how everything went," said Taranaki Arts Festival Trust Chief Executive Suzanne Porter.

"Tropfest NZ goes from strength to strength and we are excited to be a growing part of the largest short film festival in the world."

The Tropfest winner and finalist films can be viewed on Tropfest NZ's YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/TropfestNZ?feature=watch.


Next Up...

Cinema Classics at the Civic

Posted Monday 17 Feb 2014

Please see below a cheery note from the NZIFF team�

Here at the NZIFF office we're spending summer putting some heat into your autumn and winter. Intrepid NZIFF programmer Sandra Reid is braving the February temperatures at the gigantic Berlinale, as we get serious about selections for our own mid-year extravaganza. In the meantime the home team prepare for our NZIFF 2014 Autumn Events, coming soon to the nation's finest giant screen venues (and favourite NZIFF hangouts). We are proud to announce a programme of newly restored cinema classics alongside the premiere screenings of the latest (and purportedly final) film from the great Japanese animator Miyazaki Hayao. Recent restorations of these great films provide the perfect opportunity to make the most of the state-of-the-art digital technology at key NZIFF venues.

Auckland tickets are on sale Friday February 14 from Ticketmaster: session times and ticketing information appear on our website.

We've also packed our first update for the year with great giveaways from local distributors. Please support their releases at your local cinema, and send us your reviews if you're attending a preview. Join the discussion on our Facebook page.

And while we are talking NZIFF selections, we encourage any New Zealand filmmakers whose work is ready for our attention to submit now. It's true you have until April 17, but why not catch us now, ahead of the tsunami.

Bill Gosden - NZIFF Director