South's 'next Peter Jackson' taking his film to Cannes
Southland is about to hit the world stage with the short film Oku Tuakana, My Brothers on its way to the Cannes Film Festival.
Young writer-director Matt Inns said the film was too long to be eligible for the festival's main competition, but had been accredited to enter the Short Film Corner.
The film is based on the unlikely bond between a wounded British soldier and Maori warrior during the 1846 land wars.
Inns, a Southern Institute of Technology digital media student, said Cannes would provide an opportunity to meet an international network of people and professionals in the industry.
SIT business services manager Bharat Guha told The Southland Times the polytechnic was very proud of Inns' achievement.
"He's doing very well. He's made all of us and all of Southland proud."
Mr Guha said SIT would sponsor Inns $5000 towards his trip.
The film's producer Bryan Campbell said the ILT and ILT Foundation had been supporters of the project from the start, and had now agreed to sponsor the rest of the money to get him and Inns to Cannes.
Inns' hairdresser, Adrian Barclay at Venom, had also made a donation to help the pair on their way.
The World's Fastest Indian producer Murray Francis, an enthusiastic supporter of Inns and the film, said attending the festival was an opportunity that should not be missed.
"The short film festival will be followed up by the Cannes festival, where everyone in the world will be flocking in. The whole interest of the film world will be focused on Cannes."
Francis said it was an achievement not only for Inns and the film's producer Campbell, but for all of Southland, which got behind the film.
He wanted Inns and Campbell to go to Cannes as the underdogs and show the world what they had achieved.
"He (Inns) is a persistent little bugger, and that's what good directors are. He had a vision and he's realised it," Francis said.
"He's the next Peter Jackson, and he's from Southland."
Campbell agreed, and said he knew the first time he read one of Inns' scripts he was "magic".
Campbell described the problems they faced when making the film, from last-minute cast changes to horrific weather and destroyed sets.
The 40-minute film took a year to complete. "It's the first film from Southland to get this far," Campbell said.
And Southland's answer to Peter Jackson hoped it wouldn't be the last, with Inns planning a long career in the industry.
He said Southland had the potential to become a film-making centre in New Zealand, as long as the support continued.
"There are some really talented people in Southland," Inns said.
"It would be a shame if the talent had to go elsewhere because there was not enough support."
The Southland Times