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Writer and director Nic Gorman (DEGANZ) has received funding towards his second feature film The Letting Go.

Nic’s 2017 feature film Human Traces premiered at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival. He hopes to shoot his next film in present-day Christchurch over six weeks in Autumn next year.

The Letting Go is a science fiction film set in the near future where 50% of the world’s children become ‘shells’ once they hit puberty, falling into a permanent catatonic state with no hope of return. The story centres around Tess who negotiates the uncertainty that comes with parenting a pre-teen child in this world.

Nic Gorman’s film is one of five projects that received local funding from the Screen CanterburyNZ Production Grant round. Launched in July 2021, the purpose of the fund is to encourage screen productions to locate themselves and film in the Waitaha Canterbury region, at the same time stimulating sustainable economic growth for Christchurch. The second round is now accepting Scripted and Factual content from national and international filmmakers (closing Oct 28).

Earlier this year DEGNZ members writer/director Fiona McKenzie (pictured during filming) and producer/editor Scott Flyger saw the World Premiere of their short film Peninsula at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Now the film has just won the ‘Let’s Include’ section, which recognises inclusion at the Academy Award-qualifying Bengaluru International Short Film Festival in Bangalore, India! In November, Peninsula will be heading to the Aesthetica Short Film Festival.

Shot on Banks Peninsula over three days, Peninsula follows a father trying to reconnect with his estranged son, leading to unexpected consequences.

Member Gillian Ashurst’s Snakeskin, originally released in 2001, opened the Made in Canterbury Festival at Isaac Theatre Royal (March 19-21).

Shot on 35mm and edited by DEGNZ member Cushla Dillon, it was the first public screening of the newly digitised film, funded by the NZFC’s Film Digitisation Programme. Gillian was present to introduce the film.

Filmed against the backdrop of the Canterbury landscape, Alice (Melanie Lynskey) and Johnny (Dean O’ Gorman) are a couple of suburban kids, cruising the highways searching for adventure, old enough to know what they’re doing – young enough to get it wrong. Their paths cross with an American cowboy in snakeskin boots, Seth (Boyd Kestner), looking for a ride. Seth takes the kiwis on the trip of their dreams, but they soon discover this snake can create nightmares, and in the heart of the Southern Alps, these kids are about to pay.

Snakeskin won five awards at the 2001 NZ Film and TV Awards, including best film.