On 8 June 1987 Nuclear-free New Zealand became law. This collection honours the principles and people behind the policy. Prime Minister Norman Kirk put it like this: "I don't think New Zealand's a doormat. I think we've got rights — we're a small country but we've got equal rights, and we're going to assert them." In the backgrounder, journalist Tim Watkin explores the twists and turns of Aotearoa's nuclear history.
In this 2007 short, a young refugee boy is smuggled out of an unnamed European country. When he realises he and his companion are victims of people trafficking, he faces an untenable choice. Cargo was produced as director Leo Woodhead’s graduating film while completing a masters in film at Auckland University. A collaboration with Czech cinematographer Martin Priess led to a student exchange with FAMU in Prague and saw the film shot in the Czech Republic. It premiered at Venice Film Festival, before a successful (London, Tribeca, Telluride) festival run.
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
This 1996 short film is billed as "a lyrical and musical tale of love at the crossroads”. Shot through a blue filter, the dialogue-free tale follows a trumpet-playing young woman at a railway station, as she romances and dances to vinyl records with a young man. After a lively meeting with his family, an invitation to a dance forces her to choose how she rolls. Armagan Ballantyne's first short was made in the Czech Republic during studies at Prague's Famu film school. It competed at the Venice Film Festival. Ballantyne went on to direct 2009 feature film The Strength of Water.
Tracey Collins is a multi award-winning production and costume designer, who specialises in television and film work. Her career spans drama series (Maddigan's Quest), telemovies (Bliss) feature films (White Lies) and commercials, plus hundreds of original theatre works.
New Plymouth born Katie Wolfe has made the transition from actor to director. After leading roles in Marlin Bay, Cover Story, and Mercy Peak she stepped behind the camera in 2002, directing on Shortland Street. In 2008 she directed her first short film This Is Her, which screened at festivals around the globe. Wolfe's adaptation of Witi Ihimaera novel Nights in the Garden of Spain screened on TV in January 2011.
Composer Stephen McCurdy's screen music has crossed the gamut — from jazz, chamber pieces, rock, and pop, to the faux Peggy Lee song which opened each episode of 80s soap Gloss. McCurdy won NZ Film Awards for his scores to Came a Hot Friday and The End of the Golden Weather.
Armagan Ballantyne made her feature film debut in 2009 with The Strength of Water, the tale of two children in an isolated coastal town. The Kiwi-German co-production was invited to festivals in Berlin, Rotterdam and Auckland. After winning an award for an Emma Paki music video back in 1996, Ballantyne studied film in Sydney and Prague. Her CV includes commercials, episodes of acclaimed children's show Being Eve, and award-winning short films (Whistle She Rolls). In 2008 she was one of 22 filmmakers from around the globe selected to make a short for United Nations anthology film Stories on Human Rights.
Auckland composer and clarinetist Peter Scholes began his screen career in style, composing and arranging the lush score for Desperate Remedies (1993). Since then he has supplied sounds for tragic romances (Memory and Desire), horror (The Tattooist) and three one-off TV dramas. Scholes has conducted for orchestras in London and Prague; he also founded and is musical director of the Auckland Chamber Orchestra.