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The New Zealand International Film Festival has announced that local shorts will also screen before selected feature films in Auckland and Wellington, on top of the NZ’s Best and the Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika short film sections. Keep an eye out for these five short films by DEGNZ members.

The Man Downstairs

Director/producer and DEGNZ member Grant Lahood will have his short The Man Downstairs  screened this year during the festival. The premise is mysterious as young couple Jess and Tom move into the perfect new apartment upstairs from their landlord Colin, but then things start getting strange.

Marieville

Grant Lahood also has another short film screening, one he wrote, directed and produced called Marieville. Marieville is centred around Karen and a sudden encounter with an icon from her past that conjures evocative memories of her late father and his passion for a model Mississippi paddle boat.

The Meek

The storyline for The Meek simply couldn’t be more timely: in a twist of chromosomes and fate, young Izzy may also be the key to humanity’s future in a world ravaged by a deadly virus. The short film set to screen at this year’s festival is directed and written by DEGNZ member Gillian Ashurst and edited by Jonathan Woodford-Robinson.

Munkie

DEGNZ board member Steven Chow will see his film Munkie screened in Auckland and Wellington during the festival too. Steven wrote, directed and edited Munkie which tells the story of Rose and her violent plan for revenge against her domineering tiger parents.

Peninsula

In the film Peninsula, Mark is pushed out of his comfort zone while trying to reconnect with his estranged son Toby and deal with his new neighbour Amber who does things differently. Written and directed by Fiona McKenzie and edited and produced by Scott Flyger, Peninsula has done extremely well internationally and we are excited to have it screen on our shores again.

Celebrating filmmakers of great web series content from across the globe, NZ Web Fest returns this year with a line-up that includes works from DEGNZ members.

100 Year Forecast

100 Year Forecast (pictured above) is a five-part documentary series from The Spinoff exploring what we know about climate change, the implications it will have on Aotearoa New Zealand and what we can do moving forward. The series was cut by DEGNZ member Ben Chesters.

The Collective

Rachale Davies’ The Collective is an eight-part doco series about six young musicians taking part in a youth music programme that pushes them into compelling journeys of self-discovering.

Chloe and the Crash Test

Selected for the Pilot category is Chloe and the Crash Test, an original comedy series from Mt Maunganui directed by Anton Steel. The show follows a group of 30-somethings as they try to get their chaotic lives on track.

The Handy Circle

Another selected for the Pilot Category, Samuel Shelton’s web series The Handy Circle is a drama / comedy set in a world where puppets and humans live side by side. Due to the new Puppet distancing act, puppets and human relations are outlawed; puppets have to learn to operate themselves while humans must come to terms with not being able to operate their puppet companions that they love to the verge of obsession. The Handy Circle is a recovery program to help the heavily addicted.

Jonno Woodford-Robinson (DEGNZ) has edited three episodes on A24’s comedy-drama series, Mr. Corman, which debuted on Apple TV last week. Members Greg Jennings and Amanda Mulderry served as first assistant editors.

The 10-part series follows fifth-grade teacher Josh Corman as he struggles with anxiety, loneliness, forfeited dreams of a music career, and the sinking suspicion that he sucks as a person. Mr. Corman is created, written, and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who also stars in the lead role.

All episodes of the series were shot in the greater Wellington region earlier this year—with Wellington standing in as suburban Los Angeles—after the pandemic shutdown the production in LA.

DEGNZ member Arvid Eriksson’s Acknowledgements, a dreamy art film shot at Auckland’s iconic Parnell Baths, will have its world premiere at Film Invasion Los Angeles this month, a festival which celebrates independent and art-house film. It will compete for the Best Experimental Short Film Award.

The film is based on a poem by NZ poet Louise Wallace and features Kiwi comedian Donna Brookbanks (Funny Girls) as a bored pool attendant and the voice of veteran actor Elizabeth McRae. Acknowledgements reflects on the marvel of other people and how we all affect each other.

Arvid is currently developing another abstract short while directing commercial projects and writing on a feature.

Watch the trailer here:

Cornerstone has launched world sales at the 2021 European Film Market (EFM) for marriage-in-crisis comedy Nude Tuesday, directed by DEGNZ member Armağan Ballantyne and written by and starring Guild member Jackie van Beek.

Performed entirely in gibberish, the NZ-Australian co-production will be available with two deliverable sets of subtitles, written by prominent local comedians. However, distributors are also encouraged to engage local comedians to create their own subtitled version of the movie.

Nude Tuesday tells the story of a couple who, in an effort to rekindle the spark in their marriage, head to a couples’ retreat. Upon arrival, the path to their reconnection is met with hilarious farce, including Jermaine Clement’s sex guru, as they seek to find themselves and each other through their newfound sexual liberation.

Alison Thompson and Mark Gooder of Cornerstone expressed their enthusiasm for the film, “Jackie, Aramagan and the team are creating a wildly entertaining movie. It’s bold, inventive and achingly funny and we can’t wait to introduce Nude Tuesday to buyers for the first time.”

Berlin’s EFM was held virtually on 1-5 March 2021.

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