The work of Kezia Barnett has been showcased in galleries, short films, music videos, and projected on to four-story high billboards. Since graduating from Elam in 1998, Barnett has made award-winning videos for Goodshirt and Sarah Brown. She also directs commercials around the world; her efforts won her the 2005 Young Director of the Year award at Southern Hemisphere advertising awards The Kodak Gongs.
I had acute appendicitis and nearly died at 27; my work pre and post this shows quite a dramatic change. Before it was bubblegum-pop musical land with larger than life characters, after it took a darker turn with schoolyard fantasies of bullies as wolves, a time traveling killer and Rouge Amour. Kezia Barnett on website The New Current, 2016
The title provides pointers towards the film noir intentions of this stylish short film. A well-travelled set-up — drifter rolls into a seedy motel diner — springs surprises as the time -travel plot unravels. Jet Black features Leighton Cardno (Shortland Street's Dr Adam Heyward) as Jet, burdened by murderous guilt, and fellow Shortlander Marissa Stott as the winsome waitress. The screenplay was written by director Kezia Barnett, novelist Chad Taylor (Heaven) and adman Karl Fleet. It was part of a series of shorts promoting Schweppes, by advertising agency Publicis Mojo.
Winner of Video of the Year 2006 at the Juice TV Awards, the clip was shot over two and a half days, and required dancers attached to elastic strings to move at half speed to achieve the puppet effect.Self confessed dance fanatic Kezia Barnett literally searched the world for the hero marionette doll. "I looked in Paris, Amsterdam, London, Berlin, Auckland and Prague. I eventually bought one in Prague. We changed her hair, face, skin and clothes to match Sarah's."Kezia Barnett, March 09
With her second ever video, director Kezia Barnett established herself as a major industry talent. Buck It Up won Best Group Video at the Juice TV Awards 2004. "I went to art school with Rodney. At one school ball he was the Queen of the Ball and I was the King! The video idea was influenced by my brush with death and hospital stay earlier that year. Needless to say I was delirious and had visions. You can see the band pop up throughout the video - especially Rodney." Kezia Barnett - March 09
In the pop-plastic milk-bar universe of Bubblegum Valley, true love is on the rocks. Blue pulls up to the Paperdoll Diner in his mint cadillac. Inside, Candy hears gossip that Blue has been untrue. Will Blue's musical extravaganza fantasy reunite him with his true love? Will his gel hold his quiff up for the length of the film? This is an excerpt from Kezia Barnett's confectionary tale of marching girls and rock'n'roll dreams on rollerskates. It was the first funded short shot by cinematographer Ginny Loane; and was scored by indie duo The Brunettes.
This short film follows a five-year-old child (Elizabeth Morris), after her mother's paranoid delusions reach breaking point and she is put in a mental hospital. Writer/director Belinda Schmid's aim was to show how children can respond to situations partly without emotional upset, "because we have no other measure for the ways things are supposed to be, and partly by coping in ways that help us survive at the time". Jennifer Ward-Lealand plays the mother. Nominated for Best Short at the 2000 NZ Film Awards, The Painted Lady was invited to a number of international film festivals.