Brand New Zealand in Film

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View from the Top banner

NB: Anna Serner quotes extracted from a Nordisk Film & TV Fund article

 

Anna Serner, the CEO of the Swedish Film Institute, spoke at the Big Screen Symposium a couple of weeks ago on gender equity.

In the short time she has been at the Swedish Institute, she has essentially delivered gender parity in funding for feature film. By parity, that means that 50 per cent of films are written, directed and or produced by women. As in New Zealand now, it was the number of women directing films in Sweden where the numbers were poorest.

At the same time Serner strove for gender parity, she also strove for higher quality.

“Our strategy is basically to have high demands, and clear goals. We look for films that either can reach a high national audience or will go to international festivals. Ideally, we’d love to have both!”

This demand for quality saw an increase in rejections for funding applications from both men and women, rising from 80% ‘no’ to 90% ‘no’.

Serner’s approach upset men and women. The men because they felt it was harder to get funding. The women because they wanted to be considered “directors” rather than “women directors” and because their funding applications were still being rejected.

The quality focus is a very interesting aspect of the changes Serner has brought about. It is linked into a desire to project ‘Brand Sweden’ through film, which ties into the Swedish Government’s policy to project ‘Brand Sweden’ through four key profile areas: Society, Innovation, Creativity, Sustainability.

This from the Brand Sweden strategy document:

Countries are dependent on the esteem and confidence of the rest of the world in their competition for tourists, investors, talent and the attention of others. Sweden is a country with a good reputation, but the world is changing rapidly and competition for attention is growing. A strong image of Sweden abroad is important for achieving political objectives, promoting trade, attracting investment, tourists and talent, and encouraging cultural and scientific exchange.

The Swedish Film Institute has a very interesting matrix for deciding whether or not to fund film and help project Brand Sweden. It takes a four quadrant approach.

– Courtesy Anna Serner, Swedish Film Institute

 

Quadrants A, B and D are the successful quadrants. C is for the duds.

For New Zealand, the number of Admissions would halve as we are essentially 50% the size of Sweden. And if we looked at NZ films, in A you would have films with niche audiences with high critical acclaim, such as the recent Inland Road and Stray. Sitting at the upper end of both axis in B would be Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Let’s not talk about C. And in D you would probably find the latest Pork Pie.

Swedish independent filmmakers target A and B and with considerable success. They had three films in Cannes this year (we haven’t had one since Christine Jeff’s Rain, 17 years ago). The breakout hit The Square is a definite B, as would be another great Swedish film Force Majure, both by director Ruben Östlund.

For Anna Serner, the Swedish brand is equally important domestically as internationally.

“The Swedish brand is very highly regarded internationally but not enough at home. So we have to fight harder to get the films to reach the audience, by branding Swedish films better and having a greater diversity of voices.”

Brand New Zealand is definitely talked about in Business and in some aspects of Arts and Culture, the Venice Biennale being one example. But it’s not integrated into a cohesive strategy. And it’s not consciously focused on in our film output. It’s high time this was done.

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

 

NZ Cinema: Q&A Screening of Vermilion

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Vermilion posterNew Zealand film Vermilion opens in cinemas on November 8, the feature film debut from writer/director Dorthe Scheffmann. The film is edited by DEGNZ member Peter Roberts.

Scheffmann and star Jennifer Ward-Lealand will attend a Q&A screening on Friday 9 November. Come join the filmmakers and DEGNZ for this Film Talk at Rialto Cinemas.

Vermilion tells the story of a group of women – mothers, daughters, friends and neighbours. Darcy (Ward-Lealand), a composer, sees colours when she plays musical notes. When she notices her usually subtle colours changing- she realises a profound change is upon her. Over a summer month, Darcy creates a time of music and reflection that help her make a final choice.

Watch the trailer

Young Creators: Rewrite Your Story

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Young Creators: Rewrite Your Story

Writing is rewriting, and the final rewrite is in the edit. You’ve probably heard this a lot.

Madam Black (2015)So we’re digging into the how of developing and crafting a good story for our last Young Creators meet-up of the year. We take a look at the important relationship between the writer, director and editor through a short film case study of Madam Black.

When a photographer runs over a young girl’s cat he finds himself inventing a story about its disappearance…

Funny and heartfelt, Madam Black has charmed audiences around the globe – selected for over 150 festivals and winner of 40 awards, including the ‘Prix du Public’ at Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, and ‘Best Short’ at the New Zealand Film Awards. Madam Black is directed by Ivan Barge, written by Matthew Harris and was funded by the NZFC as a Fresh 30 short film.

Director Ivan Barge joins us for a Q&A, kicking off with a screening of the film. Stick around for a drink after!

Wed 14 November // 6:15 – 8pm. Talk starts 6:30pm

Horse & Trap
3 Enfield Street, Mt Eden, Auckland

Ticket Info

DEGNZ / NZWG members – Free
Non-members – $5

For non-members, we accept payment by credit/debit cards (online only) and cash at the door. Tickets are non-refundable.

Registration closes 10AM Wednesday 14 November, unless capacity is reached prior.

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DEGNZ Young Creators is a programme of events with a mission to inform and inspire younger or emerging directors and editors to build successful, sustainable careers in the screen industry.

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Event Partner

NZWG logo

Call for Applications: Assistant Editors – Mandatory Skills Workshop

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Assistant Editors - Mandatory Skills

Call for Applications

Directors & Editors Guild of NZ is pleased to present Assistant Editors – Mandatory Skills, a new workshop designed for assistant editors in Aotearoa. The Guild warmly invites applications for this 2-day workshop to be held on 8-9 December.

A well trained Assistant Editor is worth their weight in gold…ask any editor. Ask an editor how many good assistants they know and they might fish up two or three names – that’s all.

This is a hands-on workshop for technically-minded Avid practitioners, and new assistant editors alike. It recognises the distinct and essential role that assistant editors play in post production – across feature, documentary and television projects – and will focus on the essentials you need to excel in that role.

The workshop will outline key skills considered mandatory minimum requirements for assistant editors, from setting up projects, ingesting and full preparation for the editor, to workflow meetings and troubleshooting issues when they arise.

Prospective participants should have a basic knowledge of Avid Media Composer. Up to 14 participants will be selected.

When:
Saturday 8 December, 9am – 5pm, followed by post-workshop drinks
Sunday 9 December, 9am – 4pm

Where:
South Seas Film and Television School, 75 Ellice Rd, Glenfield, Auckland
A travel allowance may be available to some DEGNZ members travelling from out of town.

Cost: DEGNZ members – Free, Non-members – $100. Lunch will be provided each day.

Our Tutor

Dione ChardDione Chard has worked as an assistant editor and editor in both New Zealand and Canada over the past 10 years. She cut her first feature film Stray in 2017 and more recently she’s cut All or Nothing: A Season with the All Blacks for Amazon and is currently working on Vai with Brown Sugar Apple Grunt Productions. As an assistant she’s worked on many varied productions from ABC’s Legend of the Seeker to Disney sitcom Mr Young, telefeature Jean and the STARZ series Ash vs Evil Dead.

To Apply

Application Deadline: 1PM, Friday 23 November 2018

STEP 1: Submit the form below.

STEP 2: You will be redirected to the File Upload page, which can also be found here. Upload your application file(s) in PDF or Word Document. Submit before the deadline:

  • your CV/filmography
  • a brief, maximum one-page letter on why you would like to attend and what you hope to gain from the workshop

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

 

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This initiative is brought to you with the generous support of the New Zealand Film Commission.

NZFC

Intimacy on Set & Stage with Ita O’Brien

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Ita Obrien

As some of you will be aware, Equity New Zealand is involved in bringing Intimacy Coordinator Ita O’Brien from England to run a series of seminars and workshops in Australia and New Zealand (10-12 December).

The DEGNZ board feels the best option for directors in regard to how best to handle scenes involving intimacy, simulated sex and nudity is education. We also feel that directors should upskill so that they have the capability to deal with such scenes professionally.

We therefore encourage you to attend one or more of Ita’s sessions, in particular session #3 so that you can incorporate the work of intimacy coordinator into your own practice as a director.

Please review the material below and make an application through Equity Foundation should you wish to take advantage of this opportunity.

 

Intimacy on Set and Stage with Ita O’Brien

 

This event series is brought to you by Equity Foundation and the support of their partners.

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