Kiwi shorts a stepping stone
Kiwi short film makers are breaking their way into feature films on the back of their repeated success at international film festivals.
New Zealand Film Commission chief executive Graeme Mason said the industry was certainly not short of talent.
In the history of the Cannes Film Festival, New Zealand had more short films accepted than any other country in the world apart from France.
"We have a big tradition in New Zealand in short films. Our filmmakers love the format and continue to have incredible success."
Shorts were always a great way to spot new filmmaking talent, he said.
Two Little Boys director Rob Sarkies won international attention with his classic short film Signing Off before venturing into feature films.
More and more short film makers were making the leap into feature films, he said.
"It's a great art form on its own but also a great step forward."
Kapiti directors Louis Sutherland and Mark Albiston notched up countless awards on the festival circuit with their short film, The Six Dollar Fifty Man, which helped pave the way for their first attempt at a feature-length production.
Award-winning short film makers Daniel Borgman, Tearepa Kahi and Sam Holst are working on their own separate feature projects.
Meanwhile, Outrageous Fortune actor Tammy Davis is looking to step behind the camera for his first feature film after reeling from the success of his directorial debut, Ebony Society.
Kiwi short film makers faced the same problems with funding and budgets here as overseas, Mason said.
"But there's an incredible creative drive in this country. Our film makers just seem to get stuck in and tackle any problems head on."
The Film Commission was focussed on building talent and ensuring emerging film makers got noticed on the world stage, Mason said.
"It's our number one priority to promote these people abroad, as well as at home. We have a small domestic market and it's a shame but there's just not the money and not the audience here."
Film Commission short film manager Lisa Chatfield said audiences were still growing and the internet might be the perfect motor for this.
"There's a weird thing going on where people are being driven away from traditional methods of watching films to have the freedom to watch what they want.
"The internet acts as a kind of curator for content. People are quite afraid of that, but it delivers an audience."
This was an exciting time for short film in New Zealand and internationally, she said.
Over the next weeks, Stuff's short film season will showcase some of the best short films made in New Zealand. Make sure to check back every Friday.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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