Born to Dance hits $1 million at NZ box office

Posted Friday 23 Oct 2015

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Now in its fourth week of release, Born to Dance, produced by WIFT members Jill Macnab and Leanne Saunders has taken one million dollars at the New Zealand box office and remains in the top ten chart of films currently in theatrical release.

Written by Steve Barr, Casey Whelan and Hone Kouka, the film introduces Huntly teen Tia-Taharoa Maipi as Tu Kaea, a young man from who will do whatever it takes to realise his dream of becoming a professional hip hop dancer. Choreographed by world champion Parris Goebel and featuring some of the best hip hop dancers in the world, Born to Dance also stars Stan Walker and American actress Kerington Payne (So You Think You Can DanceFame).

The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, where Variety's Peter Debruge reviewed the film as "Proof that Maori dancers can bust a move with the best of them, Born to Dance serves as an astonishing Kiwi choreography showcase, the biggest and by far more impressive of its kind to originate Down Under."

NZ Herald reviewer Francesca Rudkin said "Internationally acclaimed South Auckland hip-hop superstar Parris Goebel turns this classic follow-your-dreams dance story into something special, thanks to her electrifying, unique style of choreography and incredible troupe of dancers" and advised readers to "Go and be blown away by the ridiculous dance talent this country has to offer."

Produced by Jill Macnab, Leanne Saunders and Daniel Story, Born to Dance was made with investment from the New Zealand Film Commission, NZ On Air and MTS. Production partners include Fulcrum Media Finance and Media Super, Random Films, Bakers Dough and the Sideshow Trust. World sales are being handled by CMG with Vendetta responsible for distribution in Australia and New Zealand.

Born to Dance is New Zealand's first hip-hop dance movie and is currently playing on 70 screens across New Zealand. It will release on screens in Australia on Nov 5th.

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Leanne Lays it on the Line

Posted Friday 23 Oct 2015

We support WIFT member Leanne Pooley's editorial in the latest DEGNZ newsletter and we thank them and author Leanne for giving us permission to republish it so those of you who are not DEGNZ members can read this and maybe act on it!  Thank you to our friends at DEGNZ and to Leanne who is a member of both our guilds. Now read on...

View from the Top...of 66 Surrey Crescent

More Like the Luvvies!
Thanks to DEGNZ (and WIFT) member Leanne Pooley for this guest editorial.

I recently attended a play in Auckland and while looking at the audience it struck me how many of them were members of the theatrical community. Like dancers and the musical fraternity they were there because a) it was a great show and b) theatre people support each other's work. It occurred to me at the time that the film industry could learn from this.

At the recent Big Screen Symposium I was at a session with Dave Gibson during which he mentioned the box office success of the recently released BORN TO DANCE. I looked around the room and I wondered how many of those present had been to see the film? Sadly I suspect had Dave asked for a show of hands, the response would have been disappointing.

I am not a hip-hop fan, but I have seen BORN TO DANCE (I was blown away by the dancing despite my unhip nature). I'm a scaredy cat but I took my teenagers to HOUSEBOUND. I'm nervous about violence but I watched THE DEAD LANDS on the big screen. I don't love rugby but I loved THE GROUND WE WON. My point is I try to see New Zealand films�in the cinema. This is in part because I think it's a good idea to see what's what from a professional point of view, but also because I believe strongly that as a community we need to support each other, just like theatre people do.

I cannot tell you how soul destroying it is when friends and colleagues come up to you months after your film has finished its cinematic run and say "I've been meaning to go to your movie!" By then it's too late, and while most people say this from a place of love the truth of the matter is, if they really meant to see it, they would have.

This is even more relevant now given the difficult movie marketplace. The viewing window is short. You can't wait six weeks and assume a film is still going to be there. You need to go as soon as possible, preferably opening weekend, because that really helps the producers keep the movie alive.

I know it's not always convenient but we only release around half a dozen films a year; I believe strongly that as a community we need to make a bigger effort to go along, pay for a ticket and be there for each other. They're our filmmakers, our actors, our designers, our cinematographers, our technical people�they're our films! If we don't support each other how can we ask the taxpayer to support us? 

Leanne Pooley

Director: 25 April