Independent film selected for honours

21:38, Feb 17 2009
THE CREATURE: Actor Mike O???Sullivan makes his intentions clear to writer and director Dale Stewart.

It was a big moment for former film students Chris Tarpey, 19, and Dale Stewart, 22, of Gulf Harbour when they received a call from New York to say their short film Awakened had been selected for the New York Independent Film Festival and the Los Angeles Film Festival.

The two were at work at the Berkeley cinema in Whangaparaoa when they heard the news about Awakened, which they made in October.

"A lady rang us from New York and said she was really interested in the film, so we sent it to her," says producer and editor Chris.

"The day after it arrived we got another call telling us the film was well written and directed, the acting was great and that it had been selected for the two festivals. We were really surprised."

Dale wrote and directed the film.

The two learnt much about film-making in media studies during their final year at Orewa College in 2006.


"We decided to put the skills into practice at the South Seas Film School in Auckland," says Chris.

They both have a diploma in film and television production from the school.

"When we first pitched the idea for our film, everyone thought it was ridiculous because it sounded more like a comedy than a scary film.

"But when we showed it to fellow students they were surprised at how well it turned out."

Ninety-five percent of the films that apply to enter the two festivals are from the United States.

"Out of thousands of applicants only two were New Zealand films, so it’s quite an achievement," says Chris.

The New York festival starts late next month. It is claimed to be the largest in the world. The Los Angeles festival is in July.

North Harbour News