News of New Zealanders via Global Media

NZ Film Brings Home the Prize

NZ Film Brings Home the Prize

The New Zealand film Shopping, by directors Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland, has won The Grand Prix of the Generation 14plus for best feature film at the Berlin Film Festival.  ‘An extremely compelling first…

Alice Englert Almost Turned Down Starring Role

Alice Englert Almost Turned Down Starring Role

Kiwi actress Alice Englert almost turned down her role as ‘caster’ Lena Duchannes in Beautiful Creatures. Speaking to Eric Eisenberg, from Cinema Blend.com, Englert said that initially she ‘wasn’t interested. I heard…that it was…

Campion Returns a Champion

Campion Returns a Champion

New Zealand director Jane Campion makes a ‘haunting’ and near-perfect return to TV production, according to Andrew Pulver, The Guardian’s Film Editor.  Campion’s return to high-end TV film-making comes with her directing the first…

Class Written All Over It

Class Written All Over It

“New product from Bright Star director Jane Campion is always welcome,” the Guardian says about the New Zealander’s six-part television series, Top of the Lake, which is showing in the Berlinale Special section at…

Campion a Cannes Jury President

Campion a Cannes Jury President

Oscar-winning director Jane Campion has been named Short Film Jury president and head of the Cinefondation at the 66th Cannes Film Festival. Campion has strong ties with the festival, winning the short film Palme…

Secrets of the Mask

Secrets of the Mask

New Zealand stuntwoman and actress Zoë Bell, 34, who recently starred as the mysterious masked tracker in Quentin Tarentino’s Django: Unchained, also appears as the Tall Witch in this year’s release Hansel and Gretel:…

Rocky Horror Turns Forty

Rocky Horror Turns Forty

New Zealand-raised actor Richard O’Brien, 70, writer of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, talks about family shame over working class roots, being transgender, the difficulty of born- again Christians, wanting to be a fairy…

Scary Script Tops US Box Office

Scary Script Tops US Box Office

Horror film Mama, co-written by Wellington-based novelist and scriptwriter Neil Cross, recently took the top spot at the North American box office. Mama earned $28.1 million from Friday through to Sunday at…

Shopping at Sundance

Shopping at Sundance

Feature debut from New Zealand filmmakers Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland, Shopping, which has premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, deals with the troubled home life of two half-Samoan brothers against a backdrop of…

Return To Middle Earth

Return To Middle Earth

“In New Zealand, there is a peculiar clarity to the sunlight,” Lonely Plant traveller Alex Von Tunzelmann writes for the BBC. “Highlights blaze; shadows are cast very, very dark. The effect makes the grass…

Bevan’s Gold Win

Bevan’s Gold Win

Queenstown-born film producer Tim Bevan (standing left in picture) took the stage with fellow cast and crew at the 70th Golden Globes Awards for Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy for Les Misérables. The…

Tackling Teen Angst

Tackling Teen Angst

New Zealand director Andrew Niccol’s film The Host is one of several films to be released over the next three months targeting “voracious” teen movie goers. In his quest to adapt Stephenie…

On The Run And Insanely Hot

On The Run And Insanely Hot

Taking a page from Strike Back, the new series Banshee also stars an insanely hot foreigner who sounds more American than she does, according to New York Post television critic Linda Stasi, who writes…

Fun-Loving MP Lit Our Screens

Fun-Loving MP Lit Our Screens

As New Zealanders gathered around their black and white sets to experience the miracle of television for the first time the face many of them will have seen staring back at them was that…

Fresh HBO Role For Starr

Fresh HBO Role For Starr

New Zealand actor Antony Starr, 37, who played twins Van and Jethro West in Outrageous Fortune, has a role in the new HBO/Cinemax action-drama series Banshee, produced by Alan Ball of True…

Our Dark Side

Our Dark Side

Jane Campion’s seven-part miniseries Top of the Lake, which was shot in and around Queenstown, premieres on the Sundance Channel in the United States on 18 March. “It’s the most comprehensive documentation of modern…

Role Of The Year

Role Of The Year

New Zealand actress Melanie Lynskey’s role as depressed twentysomething divorcée in Hello I Must Be Going is one of Paste magazine’s ‘25 Best Movie Performances of 2012’. “Most recognizable for her recurring role on…

Surprise Involvement

Surprise Involvement

When the premiere of West of Memphis was first announced for the Sundance Film Festival this year, the participation of Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings filmmaker Peter Jackson was something of a surprise, not…

Look At That

Look At That

Auckland-born Academy Award-nominated director Andrew Adamson – of Shrek and The Chronicles of Narnia fame – returns to the realm of the fantastic with Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away, a film that captures eye-popping…

Bond Gets Nastier

Bond Gets Nastier

Researchers from the University of Otago have analysed 22 James Bond films and discovered that violent acts in the films have more than doubled since Dr No in 1962. In the first 007 film,…

Lord of the Rings was Perfect

Lord of the Rings was Perfect

“The Lord of the Rings was the work of a filmmaker perfectly in tune with his source material. Its too-muchness — the encyclopedic detail, the pseudoscholarly exposition, the soaring allegory, the punishing length —…

Discerning Types

Discerning Types

Melanie Lynskey, 35, is one of ten Indie actors on the verge of mainstream, according to Loren DiBlasi writing for Highbrow Magazine. “In 1994, the New Zealand native won raves for her performance alongside…

Improvising Love In NY

Improvising Love In NY

New Zealand filmmaker Florian Habicht, 30, lets the people direct his tale of romance in the Big Apple. In New York he fell in love every few minutes, Habicht says. “Like with life, with…

Boyens’ Cinematic Adventure

Boyens’ Cinematic Adventure

Asked one day in 1997 if, as a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, she might have any interest in helping out friends and fellow New Zealanders Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh adapt The Lord of…

Jackson Our Resident Wonka

Jackson Our Resident Wonka

“With his first of three Hobbit films, An Unexpected Journey, Peter Jackson daringly attempts the same manoeuvre , aspiring to capture the essence of his…

Banking on Dancing Colours

Banking on Dancing Colours

Christchurch-born Len Lye’s “deliriously jazzy 1930s animation for the Post Office Savings Bank shows public information films needn’t be dull,” Judith Mackrell writes for the Guardian. “The colours might look late-60s-psychedelic; some of the…

Fans Flock to Spot the Stars

Fans Flock to Spot the Stars

One hundred thousand Hobbit fans descended on Wellington’s Courtenay Place to catch a glimpse of their favourite Tolkien character strutting the 500m-long red carpet ahead of the world premiere first installment of the trilogy,…

New Zealand: ‘It really is Paradise’ Says Bollywood’s Vidya Balan

New Zealand: ‘It really is Paradise’ Says Bollywood’s Vidya Balan

Vidya Balan, one of Bollywood’s biggest superstars, rates New Zealand as her favourite place. She spoke to Filmfare, India’s leading film magazine, about her trip and shared some of her New Zealand photos with…

We, Family

We, Family

New Zealand-born director Barnaby Southcombe, 40, has cast his mother, English actress Charlotte Rampling, 66, in the title role of his latest film, I, Anna. The adapted screenplay was written by Southcombe based on…

Directing the Big Guns

Directing the Big Guns

Wellington-born director Andrew Dominik, 45, who has lived in Australia most of his life, said it took 45 minutes via text message to hammer out a deal with Brad Pitt to produce their latest…

Filmmakers Galore

Filmmakers Galore

When it comes to supporting fledgling filmmakers, part of New Zealand’s challenge is the sheer number of them. Inspired by Peter Jackson’s success, young people are swarming film schools here. Weta Digital itself is…

Doctor Turned Astronaut

Doctor Turned Astronaut

New Zealand actor Martin Henderson, 38, has been cast as the lead in a new NBC soap thriller from executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer, The Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives. “Henderson will play Kyle…

Universal Appeal

Universal Appeal

New Zealand children’s film Kiwi Flyer has won the Audience Award at the Schlingel – 18th International Film Festival for Children and Young Audience held in in Chemnitz, Germany. Tony Simpson, director…

Unexpected Welcome

Unexpected Welcome

Over the next few months at Wellington Airport, a giant 13m Gollum diving for 4m fish, will welcome visitors to ‘the middle of Middle Earth’. Designed by Weta Workshop, and built by Japanese artist…

Jackson’s Empire Five

Jackson’s Empire Five

“There’s a new Jackson Five in town,” Empire magazine says. “The December issue of Empire five gorgeous 3D lenticular covers to celebrate The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” “Your choices are; Galadriel (Cate Blanchett),…

What’s Not to Like

What’s Not to Like

Raised in the North Island town of Ruawai, Sydney-based actor Roy Billing, 65, lives with his New Zealand wife Linda Tizard, a former entertainment industry executive, in the suburb of Coogee. Coogee, Billing says,…

Talent Embedded in Genes

Talent Embedded in Genes

Up-and-coming actress Alice Englert, 17, the daughter of New Zealand film director Jane Campion (“similar talents seem to be embedded in her genes”), stars in Ginger & Rosa, “an evocative and beautifully shot portrait…

Back to His Roots Playing Cop

Back to His Roots Playing Cop

Sam Neill plays Belfast police chief C.I. Campbell in new BBC gangster drama, Peaky Blinders, which is currently shooting in Birmingham, Leeds and Liverpool. While Neill is one of the more well-known New Zealand…

Master of All Surveyed

Master of All Surveyed

“Watching on a monitor, tucked out of sight , is Peter Jackson, the magician of Middle Earth,” Kim Masters writes for The Hollywood Reporter. “He had to overcome many…

Middle Earth Mania

Middle Earth Mania

The country’s national tourism slogan “100% Pure New Zealand” has become “100% Middle-earth”, and in the days leading up to the premiere of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Wellington will be…

Discovering Sounds of Home

Discovering Sounds of Home

New Plymouth-born saxophonist and composer Hayden Chisholm, 37, toured Germany to learn about its rich folk music tradition – and why the Germans have a problem with it. His back-to-the-roots journey was captured in…

Inside His Head

Inside His Head

New Zealand-raised filmmaker and host of online show Inside Horror Elric Kane, who currently lives in Los Angeles, talks to Werewolf editor Gordon Campbell about the show and all things horror-fic. “The first…

Minting Hobbits

Minting Hobbits

New Zealand Post is minting coins and printing stamps featuring characters from Middle-earth to commemorate the upcoming film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The coins feature Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf the Grey, dwarf king Thorin…

Big and Small Comparisons

Big and Small Comparisons

In an appearance at the Mipcom conference in Cannes, New Zealand director Jane Campion explained that she was attracted by the creative freedom in television, in comparison to film. Campion was at Mipcom to…

Is This Place for Real?

Is This Place for Real?

“The hill is perfect – steep, shaggy and as green as a radioactive shamrock, like the matching hills around it,” The New York Times describes. “The sheep seem pretty idyllic themselves: polite little nibblers who only…

Jackson a Digital Mandarin

Jackson a Digital Mandarin

Director Peter Jackson, 50, features at No. 22 on Vanity Fair’s 2012 ‘The Powers that Be’ List, which names the “top 25 mandarins” in the digital world. “A decade removed from his $3 billion Lord…

Call It an Evocative Scowl

Call It an Evocative Scowl

Joe Dredd, played by New Zealand actor Karl Urban, 40, “is meant to be the most fearsome judge – but we don’t get to see many more of his kind around,” USA Today’s Claudia Puig writes…

Talking of The Small Screen

Talking of The Small Screen

Palme d’Or and Oscar-winning New Zealand director Jane Campion will attend the international television market MIPCOM next month in Cannes, France to talk about her first small-screen foray, the new series Top of the Lake….

Work in Progress

Work in Progress

West of Memphis was produced by the Oscar-winning team of Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, who enlisted filmmaker Amy Berg, herself an Oscar nominee for the documentary Deliver Us From Evil, to make their own film…

Mister Pip Premieres

Mister Pip Premieres

New Zealand-born writer-director Adam Adamson’s film adaption of Lloyd Jones’ prize-winning novel Mister Pip, starring Hugh Laurie, has premiered at the Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto as part of the city’s annual film festival. Laurie…

How Good an Actress She Is

How Good an Actress She Is

New Zealand actress Melanie Lynskey is the “highlight” of Hello I Must Be Going writes Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan, who says she “shines as the film’s focus.” “If you…

Now at Centre Stage

Now at Centre Stage

The other half of the Heavenly Creatures duo, Melanie Lynskey, 35, has been working consistently in Los Angeles for a decade. Lynskey is perhaps most well-known in America for having appeared in more than…

Snapping Up the Roles

Snapping Up the Roles

Former Wellingtonian actress Chelsie Preston Crayford, 25, says her career move to Sydney was not about culture or leaving for a bigger city. In fact, given the choice, she would live back in the…

Settling the Score

Settling the Score

“Jane locked me in a hotel room with a piano and said she wouldn’t let me out until I’d finished,” British composer Michael Nyman, explains to the Guardian about his task to complete…

New Zealand a Place of Healing

New Zealand a Place of Healing

West of Memphis, produced by Peter Jackson and directed by American filmmaker Amy Berg, has had its premiere in Wellington as part of the New Zealand International Film Festival. The…

Pounui Cameron’s New Pandora

Pounui Cameron’s New Pandora

“It was ultimately New Zealand’s contemporary film culture that persuaded James Cameron to shift his work life, in stages, toward the Southern Hemisphere,” Pete Nikolaison writes for The New York Times. “New…