Shoestring film off to Cannes

Last updated 05:00 19/04/2014
Lisa Fothergill and Luke Thornborough
Jess Etheridge

BIG TIME: Lisa Fothergill and Luke Thornborough are the creators of Jess, which has been accepted into the Cannes International Film Festival Short Film Corner.

Amie Bentall
WESTERN WONDER: Amie Bentall, centre, stars as Jess in the short film which was shot in the Hawke’s Bay and at Howick Historical Village.

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A 15-minute movie by Auckland residents Luke Thornborough and Lisa Fothergill will screen at the prestigious Cannes International Film Festival in May.

Jess has been accepted into the Short Film Corner of the event attended by some of the industry's biggest movers and shakers.

Its makers are trying to raise $4800 online to get Thornborough to France next month so he can take part in the festival and its various workshops and submit their entry to other contests.

New Zealand film-maker Jane Campion got her foot in the door when her short films where shown at Cannes in 1986.

She will return to Cannes this year to choose the winner of the event's top prize, the Palme d'Or, which she won for her 1993 movie, The Piano.

Jess, a 15-minute western, features just 14 lines of spoken dialogue and was filmed in the Hawke's Bay and at the Howick Historical Village in Auckland's eastern suburbs.

Lead actress Amie Bentall stars as Jess, who sets out on horseback to find her father, fighting the elements and coming to terms with who she is along the way.

The cast and crew battled through thunderstorms, icy waters and had to travel by four-wheel drive to access some of the remote locations they filmed in.

Wrangling horses and keeping everyone fed was also challenging.

Fothergill, 24, says being accepted into the event makes all the early mornings and life on a shoestring budget worthwhile.

"Don't be afraid to put it out there," Thornborough says to budding film-makers.

"I've seen some projects fall over because some people don't have the confidence to show their work.

"Get your stuff seen and don't be afraid to ask for help."

Go to to help Luke Thornborough get to Cannes.  

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