News of New Zealanders via Global Media

‘Theory Of Everything’s Anthony McCarten & Working Title Set Winston Churchill WWII Epic

‘Theory Of Everything’s Anthony McCarten & Working Title Set Winston Churchill WWII Epic

After The Theory Of Everything garnered five Oscar nominations including Best Picture, writer-producer Anthony McCarten has signed a deal to work alongside producer Lisa Bruce and Working Title partners Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan…

Damaged Christchurch Mirrors Relationship in New Film

Damaged Christchurch Mirrors Relationship in New Film

The feature-length Sunday, which has its Australian premiere at the 9th Byron Bay Film Festival, is set in Christchurch a year after the 2011 earthquake, where scenes of damage, poignancy and hope provide a…

Danielle Cormack’s Toughest Role Yet

Danielle Cormack’s Toughest Role Yet

Auckland-born actor Logie-nominated Danielle Cormack, 44, came to the attention of Australian audiences playing a feisty and imperious solicitor in the ABC drama Rake. The character that followed in Underbelly: Razor was no shrinking…

Stephen Hunter’s On-screen Transformations Continue

Stephen Hunter’s On-screen Transformations Continue

You might not recognise New Zealand actor Stephen Hunter, 46, from one of his biggest film roles without a bushy red beard, a huge, ring-shaped plait of red hair and a lot of bulky…

Jemaine Clement Stars as Israeli Fixer Opposite Sam Rockwell

Jemaine Clement Stars as Israeli Fixer Opposite Sam Rockwell

The Utah filmmakers who begat Napoleon Dynamite made a triumphant return to the Sundance Film Festival with New Zealand actor Jemaine Clement playing opposite American funnyman Sam Rockwell in Don Verdean, a movie about…

Sundance Comedy Immeasurably Funnier with Jemaine Clement

Sundance Comedy Immeasurably Funnier with Jemaine Clement

Jemaine Clement plays the lead role in indie romantic comedy People, Places, Things as penny-pinched New York graphic novelist Will Henry who is struggling upstream with life and the numerous females in his orbit,…

Bloody Good Film: A Biting New Zealand Comedy Takes America

Bloody Good Film: A Biting New Zealand Comedy Takes America

Film Comment, the magazine of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, has its January/February cover boy a blood-drenched Jemaine Clement from What We Do in the Shadows. Co-written, co-directed and co-starring Clement…

Peter the Great’s Hobbit Premieres in China

Peter the Great’s Hobbit Premieres in China

Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson was joined by Weta Workshop’s Richard Taylor (pictured far left) in Beijing for the Chinese premiere of the final Hobbit installment on 19 January. This was Jackson’s final stop on his…

Jane Campion’s Sweetie a Beautifully Strange Debut

Jane Campion’s Sweetie a Beautifully Strange Debut

Writer-director Jane Campion’s “mysterious visual style was showcased” in her 1989 film debut Sweetie, a “left field story about the love-hate relationship between two sisters,” the Guardian’s Luke Buckmaster writes. “Campion has made a career…

Oscar Nominations for Screenwriter Anthony McCarten

Oscar Nominations for Screenwriter Anthony McCarten

Among the five Oscar nominations announced for the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory Of Everything came a nod for New Plymouth-born producer and screenwriter Anthony McCarten. McCarten has been nominated twice as co-producer and…

Dutch Film Industry Appoints Marten Rabarts

Dutch Film Industry Appoints Marten Rabarts

New Zealand-born Marten Rabarts, currently head of development and training at the National Film Development Corporation in India, has been appointed head of EYE International (formerly Holland Film) and will take up…

Melanie Lysnkey’s Togetherness Performance a Stand-Out

Melanie Lysnkey’s Togetherness Performance a Stand-Out

It’s hard to pinpoint what is brilliant about new comedy series Togetherness, but a good place to start is its casting of Melanie Lynskey, according to Salon television critic Sonia Saraiya. “Lynskey is a New…

Peter Jackson Wants Off Hollywood Blockbuster Bandwagon

Peter Jackson Wants Off Hollywood Blockbuster Bandwagon

The new Hobbit film made US$90 million in its opening weekend, but in an interview with Esquire magazine director Peter Jackson confesses he doesn’t really like the “Hollywood blockbuster bandwagon.” The third and final installment…

Erebus – Into the Unknown

Erebus – Into the Unknown

History has always proved a success topic for film, acting as a means of celebration of those lost and those who have made a difference. The new documentary-film Erebus: Into the Unknown does both…

Marton Csokas Employs Brutal Tactics in New Miniseries

Marton Csokas Employs Brutal Tactics in New Miniseries

New Zealand actor Marton Csokas plays General Thomas Gage in the History Channel miniseries Sons of Liberty, which premieres on 25 January. Sons of Liberty, a three-part, six-hour series, which was filmed in Romania, tells…

Brazilian Filmmaker David Schurmann Heads Back to NZ

Brazilian Filmmaker David Schurmann Heads Back to NZ

New Zealand Film and Television School graduate, Brazilian film director David Schurmann, is shooting Little Secret, inspired by the life of his adopted sister Kat Schurmann, and written by Marcos Bernstein, scribe of Walter…

The Hobbit: “Peerless Fantasy, Flawlessly Rendered”

The Hobbit: “Peerless Fantasy, Flawlessly Rendered”

“The pleasure is intense, and mixed with awe,” writes Wall Street Journal film critic Joe Morgenstern of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. “There is majesty here, and not just because we’re…

Melanie Lynskey the Voice of an Irascible Cartoon Bluebird

Melanie Lynskey the Voice of an Irascible Cartoon Bluebird

New Zealand-born actress Melanie Lynskey, who starred alongside Charlie Sheen in television comedy Two and a Half Men, is the voice of bluebird Beatrice in the “beautiful” Cartoon Network 10-part miniseries Over the Garden…

Empire Reunites Peter Jackson and the Bad Taste Gang

Empire Reunites Peter Jackson and the Bad Taste Gang

For the January issue of Empire, devoted entirely to bidding “Farewell to Middle-earth,” Peter Jackson and the crew of the 1987 splatter classic, Bad Taste are reunited “to reminiscence about the crazy shoot.” “That year,…

Portrayal of Genesis Earns Cliff Curtis Best Actor Accolades

Portrayal of Genesis Earns Cliff Curtis Best Actor Accolades

Cliff Curtis has won best actor at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards for his portrayal of Genesis Potini in The Dark Horse, ahead of veteran Australian actor David Gulpilil, who won the prize…

Battle of the Five Armies Packs Huge Chain Mail Punch

Battle of the Five Armies Packs Huge Chain Mail Punch

Upon its release in Britain, Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies was met with great enthusiasm, with UK newspapers agreeing the New Zealand director has completed his trilogy with verve. “Jackson’s…

Nine Things We’ve Learned about Peter Jackson’s Epic Saga

Nine Things We’ve Learned about Peter Jackson’s Epic Saga

“Just as there are nine members of the Fellowship, here are nine things we have learned from Peter Jackson’s six-picture behemoth …” Guardian journalist Ryan Gilbey gives us the rundown. “It’s big. But how big?…

Roger Donaldson Remembers New Zealand Beginnings

Roger Donaldson Remembers New Zealand Beginnings

Before he became one of Hollywood’s most dependable big-movie helmers with hits for stars such as Eastwood, Pacino, Cruise, Costner, Hopkins, Statham, Brosnan, Roger Donaldson, 69, literally helped invent the film industry in New…

Arrow Star Manu Bennett Revels in Playing the Bad Guy

Arrow Star Manu Bennett Revels in Playing the Bad Guy

Playing the bad guy has never worried New Zealand-born actor Manu Bennett who enjoys the roles of two deliciously deviant characters at the moment: Arrow’s anti-hero Slade Wilson (aka Deathstroke) and the terrifying Orc…

Amazing Race Host Phil Keoghan’s Workout-Anywhere Tips

Amazing Race Host Phil Keoghan’s Workout-Anywhere Tips

How does New Zealander Phil Keoghan, globe-trotting Amazing Race host, stay fit? the Los Angeles Times asks. By finding a “gym” anywhere he goes. Keoghan gets around. The host of the Emmy-winning CBS show since…

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Is One Epic Film

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Is One Epic Film

Seventeen years after Sir Peter Jackson won the rights to film The Lord Of The Rings, he is finally taking leave of JRR Tolkien and Middle-earth with the conclusion of The Hobbit. The new film marks a magnificent,…

Antarctica Travelogue Gorgeously Photographed

Antarctica Travelogue Gorgeously Photographed

“Anthony Powell’s Antarctica: A Year on Ice is a gorgeously photographed travelogue about the harshest terrain on Earth,” writes Star Tribune reviewer Colin Covert. “Powell’s feature-length documentary is a trove of time-lapse shots and…

Stars Dazzle At The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies World Premiere

Stars Dazzle At The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies World Premiere

Oscar Winning New Zealand director Sir Peter Jackson and his stars arrived on a green carpet for the world premiere of his latest film The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. The premiere was…

NZ-China Sign World-First TV Co-Production Agreement

NZ-China Sign World-First TV Co-Production Agreement

The New Zealand and China governments have signed what’s said to be a world first television industry co-production agreement, which is in addition to a feature film treaty signed in 2010 and is the…

Stone Street Studios to Produce Pete’s Dragon

Stone Street Studios to Produce Pete’s Dragon

Walt Disney has confirmed that production of Pete’s Dragon, a remake of the 1977 film and starring Robert Redford, will be based at Peter Jackson’s Stone Street Studios. The live-action and CGI film…

Maori Martial Arts Rule the Big Screen in The Dead Lands

Maori Martial Arts Rule the Big Screen in The Dead Lands

Matthew Metcalfe’s feature film The Dead Lands, shot entirely in Te Reo Maori and the first to showcase the ancient Maori martial art mau rakau, is due for official worldwide release early next year. The…

Peter Jackson to Get Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Peter Jackson to Get Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

New Zealand filmmaker Sir Peter Jackson is set to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame ahead of the release of his new film The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Jackson…

Lorde’s ‘Hunger Games’ Soundtrack

Lorde’s ‘Hunger Games’ Soundtrack

The Wall Street Journal’s John Jurgensen reviews the soundtrack Lorde curated for the latest blockbuster Hunger Games movie, in an article titled “How Lorde Played God on the ‘Hunger Games’ Soundtrack’.” ““The Hunger Games” has another…

‘What We Do In the Shadows’ Wins Hawaii Audience Prize

‘What We Do In the Shadows’ Wins Hawaii Audience Prize

“What We Do In the Shadows,” Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s New Zealand-made documentary-style comedy about three flatmates who happen to be vampires won the audience award for best narrative feature at the Hawaii International…

Weta’s Richard Taylor Takes on Thunderbirds Challenge

Weta’s Richard Taylor Takes on Thunderbirds Challenge

The idea to adapt half-century-old television series Thunderbirds began 12 years ago when New Zealander Richard Taylor an Oscar-winning visual effects, makeup and costumes wizard, went to the UK to ask for creator Gerry…

Teen Star James Rolleston on Why He’s “Nothing Flash-As”

Teen Star James Rolleston on Why He’s “Nothing Flash-As”

The New Zealand actor James Rolleston who impressed in Taika Waititi’s smash hit Boy is back with two new homegrown films that wowed at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. In The Dead Lands Rolleston,…

Taika Waititi Pens Disney Animation Film Moana

Taika Waititi Pens Disney Animation Film Moana

Disney’s 56th animated film Moana has magic written all over it, according to the Latin Post and New Zealand writer and director Taika Waititi has a hand in it. The film is the studio’s…

Lorde Dishes up Pre-fame Secrets for Billboard

Lorde Dishes up Pre-fame Secrets for Billboard

With the Lorde-curated Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack coming out on 17 November, the soon-to-be-18-year-old pop singer is proving her taste in collaborators – Kanye West, Chemical Brothers, Miguel and more – are…

Rena Owen’s Hollywood Revival

Rena Owen’s Hollywood Revival

On the telephone from her West Hollywood apartment New Zealand actress Rena Owen says the biggest misconception about her life in Los Angeles is that she leads one of movie-star luxury. “The amount of people…

Designer Sean Kelly Wins Project Runway Season 13

Designer Sean Kelly Wins Project Runway Season 13

New Zealander Sean Kelly, 25, has won season 13 of Project Runway, battling it out with a show at New York Fashion Week in a final judge Heidi Klum declared the best in the…

Weta Cave Workshop Expands for Tour Groups

Weta Cave Workshop Expands for Tour Groups

Hobbit fever is ramping up in Wellington ahead of the third and final installment of Peter Jackson‘s “Hobbit” trilogy and Weta Workshop is expanding to meet demand. In a bid to cater to growing demand from tour groups…

Andrew McCarten on How to Make a Film about a Living Person

Andrew McCarten on How to Make a Film about a Living Person

New Zealand producer and screenwriter Anthony McCarten discusses the difficulties in making a film about a person who is still alive. McCarten’s latest feature is a biopic about theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, The Theory…

‘Housebound’ a Satisfying Horror-Comedy Spookfest

‘Housebound’ a Satisfying Horror-Comedy Spookfest

The horror-comedy film Housebound, the writing-directing feature debut from New Zealand filmmaker Gerard Johnstone, is described as “creepy, silly, inventive, darkly funny and, at one point, mind blowingly bloody,” by Gary Goldstein for the…

Hospitality Guru Shane Green to the Rescue

Hospitality Guru Shane Green to the Rescue

Las Vegas hospitality guru New Zealander Shane Green is the host of new Travel Chanel reality show, Resort Rescue. Green shows owners his unbelievable hidden camera discoveries and why their resort is in bad…

US Indie Film Role for Former Vampire Jemaine Clement

US Indie Film Role for Former Vampire Jemaine Clement

New Zealand comedian Jemaine Clement, who played 862-year-old Vladislav in What We Do in the Shadows, will next star in the indie drama People Places Things directed by James Strouse. Following appearances in Hollywood films…

The Dead Lands Provoking Londoners to Travel South

The Dead Lands Provoking Londoners to Travel South

Director Toa Fraser’s latest film The Dead Lands (Hautoa) is one of 10 films from the 2014 London Film Festival “that are sure to see you planning trips to New Zealand, Borneo…

BBC Announces Cop Drama “Bay of Plenty”

BBC Announces Cop Drama “Bay of Plenty”

Two female detectives will be the lead characters in a new BBC drama set in Rotorua. Luther creator Neil Cross will return to BBC as the creator of the drama, provisionally titled Bay of Plenty. The show will focus on…

Marton Csokas Menacing in The Equalizer Opposite Denzel Washington

Marton Csokas Menacing in The Equalizer Opposite Denzel Washington

Invercargill-born film and theatre actor Marton Csokas – who plays Russian bad guy Teddy opposite Denzel Washington in The Equalizer – chats with entertainment industry magazine Backstage about his approach to his craft, his…

Sam Neill Says We Can All Identify with Working Class Crims

Sam Neill Says We Can All Identify with Working Class Crims

Ask Peaky Blinders star New Zealander Sam Neill to account for the success of the BBC’s six-parter about Birmingham razor gangs – an odd but winning mix of industrial grime, street violence, catwalk-friendly fashion…

Andrew McCarten’s Stephen Hawking Biopic a Comprehendible Hit

Andrew McCarten’s Stephen Hawking Biopic a Comprehendible Hit

New Zealand screenwriter Anthony McCarten’s latest The Theory of Everything, which hits American cinemas on November 7, is “a sensitively directed inspirational biopic centred around the great British physicist Stephen Hawking and his mind-over-body…

Martin Henderson Busy Thrilling on the Small Screen

Martin Henderson Busy Thrilling on the Small Screen

Star of Australian thriller Secrets and Lies Auckland-born Martin Henderson, 39, talks to DIY magazine about his part in the critically acclaimed series The Red Road opposite Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa and…

Filmmaker Taika Waititi Flourishing out of the Mainstream

Filmmaker Taika Waititi Flourishing out of the Mainstream

He’s best known as the Oscar-nominated filmmaker behind hits like Flight Of The Conchords and New Zealand’s highest-ever grossing film Boy. But Taika Waititi had a brush with mainstream Hollywood fame when he starred alongside…

Lucy Lawless Plays a Teacher in New Outback Thriller

Lucy Lawless Plays a Teacher in New Outback Thriller

Lucy Lawless stars in ABC political thriller The Code as Alex Wisham, a teacher in a remote indigenous school who protects an Aboriginal boy blamed for the death of a teenage girl. She gets…

Cliff Curtis Gives Career-Making Performance as Genesis Potini

Cliff Curtis Gives Career-Making Performance as Genesis Potini

New Zealand actor Cliff Curtis, 46, who gives a career-making performance in fellow New Zealand director James Napier Robertson’s The Dark Horse (now playing the Toronto International Film Festival) is serious about his craft….

Wellington Vampire Movie Wins People’s Choice at Toronto Film Festival

Wellington Vampire Movie Wins People’s Choice at Toronto Film Festival

‘What We Do In the Shadows’ was a big hit at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, winning the Grolsch Midnight Madness People’s Choice Award.  Its co-creator, ‘Flight of the Conchords’ star Jemaine Clement,…

Good Kill Andrew Niccol’s Sobering 21st Century Riposte to Top Gun

Good Kill Andrew Niccol’s Sobering 21st Century Riposte to Top Gun

In Good Kill, which has its world premiere this month at the Venice Film Festival, New Zealand writer-director Andrew Niccol explores the implications of waging war while staying home, a development that – for…