News of New Zealanders via Global Media

‘Housebound’ Debuts at SXSW

‘Housebound’ Debuts at SXSW

Is the New Zealand horror-comedy back? At the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s vampire mock doc ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ was one of the strongest in…

Warner Bros Buys Rights to NZer’s Book with Bradley Cooper to Star

Warner Bros Buys Rights to NZer’s Book with Bradley Cooper to Star

A crime drama based on an upcoming book by New Zealander Ben Sanders called American Blood, has been purchased by Warner Brothers and will star Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper who will also produce. At least…

There’s a New Sheriff in Town

There’s a New Sheriff in Town

New Zealand actor Martin Henderson, 39, stars as sheriff Harold Jensen in Sundance Channel’s new thriller The Red Road. Dark and dramatic, The Red Road is set in in the fictional town of Walpole, New…

Rose McIver Stars in Flowers in the Attic TV Sequel

Rose McIver Stars in Flowers in the Attic TV Sequel

Twenty-six-year-old Rose McIver has been confirmed to play the role of Cathy Dollanganger in Petals on the Wind, American cable network Lifetime’s upcoming sequel to its hit adaptation of Virginia Andrews’s Flowers in the…

Super Bowl Advertising Hilarity Starring Sookie and P Diddy

Super Bowl Advertising Hilarity Starring Sookie and P Diddy

Anna Paquin, 31, and True Blood co-star and real life husband Stephen Moyer starred in a “hilarious” Super Bowl commercial alongside P Diddy on 2 February “and it certainly created a buzz”, reported the…

Metaphorical Moustache Twirling as Villain Otto Luger

Metaphorical Moustache Twirling as Villain Otto Luger

“From fleeing dinosaurs in Jurassic Park to Oscar-lauded films like The Piano and historical dramas like The Tudors, Sam Neill has treated his acting life like a grand escapade,” Richard Whittaker writes for the…

Jackson Hits His Personal Stride with Smaug

Jackson Hits His Personal Stride with Smaug

Peter Jackson explains how The Desolation of Smaug, the second film in his Hobbit trilogy, brought certain freedoms and how the “sole responsibility of this film foot on the…

TV Actor Antony Starr Proving a Fighting Force in Banshee’s Second Season

TV Actor Antony Starr Proving a Fighting Force in Banshee’s Second Season

New Zealand actor Antony Starr is carving a name for himself in the American TV industry, with the second season of his show ‘Banshee’ premiering this month. In an interview with The Star Online, Starr,…

Season’s Greetings from the Sundance Film Festival

Season’s Greetings from the Sundance Film Festival

New Zealand actress Melanie Lynskey and Up in the Air award-winner Anna Kendrick star in Joe Swanberg’s latest low-budget feature, Happy Christmas, which made its premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival on in…

You Don’t Say No to a Director like Campion

You Don’t Say No to a Director like Campion

The fact that Jane Campion’s drama Top of the Lake has been so well received only makes sense to American actress Holly Hunter, who played feminist seer GJ in the award-winning series. “It’s been energising…

Shrewdly Cast Star of Free Ride Conveys Breezy Believability

Shrewdly Cast Star of Free Ride Conveys Breezy Believability

New Zealand actress Anna Paquin is “shrewdly cast” in Shana Betz’s feature debut, Free Ride. Set in 1977, Paquin plays Christina, a single mother escaping an abusive relationship and starting a new life in…

Waititi’s Vampire: Mind the Furnishings!

Waititi’s Vampire: Mind the Furnishings!

Acclaimed New Zealand auteurs Taika Waititi and Jermaine Clement are garnering rave reviews for their vampire mockumentary, What We Do In The Shadows, which has premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, America’s finest showcase…

Zoe Bell Recognised for Changing Places in Film

Zoe Bell Recognised for Changing Places in Film

Waiheke born Zoe Bell is being recognised for her crossover into the mainstream acting industry, in two recent articles on rogerebert.com and the Wall Street Journal. In the articles Bell talks about…

Campion to Preside over Cannes Jury

Campion to Preside over Cannes Jury

New Zealand filmmaker Jane Campion will preside over the jury of the 67th Cannes Film Festival, succeeding last year’s president Steven Spielberg. This year’s festival takes place 14-25 May. Campion is the only female director…

Stunt Icon Raises Issues of Violence and Victimisation

Stunt Icon Raises Issues of Violence and Victimisation

New Zealand Stuntwoman and actress Zoë Bell’s film Raze is one of three out this January, which “tackle semi-weighty issues of violence, victimization, sexuality and gender.” The online arts and culture magazine Salon describes Raze…

Wellington Vampires Tell Their Story at Sundance

Wellington Vampires Tell Their Story at Sundance

New Zealand horror comedy film, the Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement-directed What We Do in the Shadows, will make its world premiere on 19 January in the Midnight section at the Sundance Film…

Fans Pack Australian Cinemas in Record Numbers

Fans Pack Australian Cinemas in Record Numbers

Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug recorded the second-highest Boxing Day opening in Australian history taking $AU5.465 million, with the only film topping that, his own. The first film in the trilogy,…

Shooting a Secret Life with Ben Stiller

Shooting a Secret Life with Ben Stiller

New Zealand cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh’s latest project is actor-director Ben Stiller’s film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, some of which was shot in mid-summer Manhattan, and the hardest aspect of that was not…

Australians Unhappy at Avatar Deal

Australians Unhappy at Avatar Deal

The Government has delivered a huge boost to the New Zealand film industry by cutting a deal with 20th Century Fox that will see the three James Cameron Avatar sequels filmed Downunder. Prime Minister…

Middle Earth’s Man Contemplates Doctor Who Offer

Middle Earth’s Man Contemplates Doctor Who Offer

Peter Jackson has confirmed reports that he has offered to direct an episode of Doctor Who. “I’m a Doctor Who fan, certainly. I’m of the generation that hid behind the sofa, and Patrick Troughton…

On Set with Once Upon A Time’s Tinkerbell

On Set with Once Upon A Time’s Tinkerbell

Flying around in a harness playing Tinkerbell on the set of American fairy tale drama series Once Upon A Time has been “so much fun” for Auckland-born actress Rose McIver. “I am very aware of…

Awe-Inspiring Film Documents Life on the Ice

Awe-Inspiring Film Documents Life on the Ice

One of those working year-round on Antarctica in a non-research role is New Zealander Anthony Powell who as well as maintaining communications networks for a living, is a “self-taught photographer and filmmaker”. His documentary…

Urban Plays Human Cop Patrolling Streets in 2048

Urban Plays Human Cop Patrolling Streets in 2048

New Zealand actor Karl Urban hits the beat in 2048 as “grizzled human” cop John Kennex, alongside Michael Ealy, who plays Urban’s “synthetic” partner Dorian in television sci-fi drama, Almost Human. Premiering this month on…

Movie-Making to Rival Lucas and Spielberg

Movie-Making to Rival Lucas and Spielberg

“Peter Jackson has picked up the pace … The Desolation of Smaug is a cheerfully entertaining and exhilarating adventure tale, a supercharged Saturday morning picture: it’s mysterious and strange and yet Jackson also effortlessly…

Hobbit Stars Say New Zealand Is More Incredible than Can Be Described

Hobbit Stars Say New Zealand Is More Incredible than Can Be Described

For those who have never been to New Zealand, highlights of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings films are often seeing the remarkable film locations, such as Lake Pukaki in Canterbury, and Mavora…

Air New Zealand Plane Gets The Hobbit Dragon Decals

Air New Zealand Plane Gets The Hobbit Dragon Decals

An Air New Zealand Boeing 777-300 that the Weta Workshop team in Wellington have fitted with a 54-metre long image of Smaug the dragon from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was unveiled yesterday…

She’s a Huge Fan of Her Mother Jane Campion

She’s a Huge Fan of Her Mother Jane Campion

Alice Englert, the actor and daughter of New Zealand screenwriter, producer and director Jane Campion, talks choosing passion over cash and whether her mum makes sexy films with the Guardian’s Alex Godfrey. She’s only 19…

Sportswear in the new Hunger Games film designed by a New Zealander

Sportswear in the new Hunger Games film designed by a New Zealander

New Zealand-raised Anjhe Mules is the designer responsible for the sportswear worn in the new film from the critically acclaimed Hunger Games trilogy. Mules’ London-based clothing line, Lucas Hugh, was discovered by the film franchise’s…

Plans Afoot for Animated Comedy Set in NASA Office

Plans Afoot for Animated Comedy Set in NASA Office

Academy Award winner Wellingtonian Bret McKenzie, 37, is creating an animated workplace comedy for Fox set in the world of NASA, according to TV Guide. McKenzie will executive produce the untitled show he came up…

Hobbit Global Fan Celebration Event Planned

Hobbit Global Fan Celebration Event Planned

Director Peter Jackson has announced plans to preview footage from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug at a “global fan celebration” on 4 November that will be simulcast in theatres and feature…

Oscar Foreign-Language Submission a Battle of Wills

Oscar Foreign-Language Submission a Battle of Wills

Based on the novella Medicine Woman by Witi Ihimaera, New Zealand’s 2014 foreign-language Oscar submission, White Lies (Tuakiri Huna) is a period drama about three women drawn together in conflict. David Rooney, reviewer for the…

McKenzie Stars in Austenland Though More a Brontë Man

McKenzie Stars in Austenland Though More a Brontë Man

Bret McKenzie, 37, one half of the comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, stars opposite Jane Seymour in the new romantic-comedy Austenland, which opened in the UK in September. “I’m not a crazy Jane Austen…

Close up with Cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh

Close up with Cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh

Acadamy Award-nominee New Zealander Stuart Dryburgh is interviewed in the August issue of American Cinematographer magazine as part of the “Close-Up” section of the publication which each month features a member of the American…

Fraser a Classical Dance Convert with New Film Giselle

Fraser a Classical Dance Convert with New Film Giselle

New Zealand director and playwright Toa Fraser admits he wasn’t much of a dance fan before setting out to make Giselle, a new full-length film of the 1841 Romantic ballet of the same name,…

Neill Recalls Camping Catastrophes and Culinary Havens

Neill Recalls Camping Catastrophes and Culinary Havens

Star of 1920s-set gangster drama Peaky Blinders, New Zealand actor Sam Neill, talks about culinary havens, camping catastrophes, and fishing in Scotland in a Telegraph travel piece. “This year, I’ve been to New York, Sydney,…

New Age Sensitive Guy Brings Heart to the Beast

New Age Sensitive Guy Brings Heart to the Beast

Auckland-born Jay Ryan, 32, “brings a deep-voiced sensitivity to Vincent”, in his role as the “Beast” in the CBS remake of the 1980’s TV show Beauty and the Beast starring Ron Perlman and Linda…

Life on the Ice Makes for Award-Winning Viewing

Life on the Ice Makes for Award-Winning Viewing

A beautifully shot documentary about a year in the life of a New Zealander living in Antarctica was the big winner at the Calgary International Film Festival, snapping up two of the major awards…

Soprano a Splendid Feather in Downton Abbey’s Cap

Soprano a Splendid Feather in Downton Abbey’s Cap

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, “one of the greatest opera sopranos of the past 40 years”, has joined Downton Abbey for a single episode to play Australian soprano Nellie Melba. The Telegraph’s Laura Thompson meets…

Silent Treasures from the NZ Film Archive on DVD

Silent Treasures from the NZ Film Archive on DVD

Over one hundred long-vanished films, including movies by John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, Mabel Normand, were quietly residing in the New Zealand Film Archive when Brian Meacham, an archivist for the Academy of Motion Picture…

Shout-it-to-the-Heavens Inspiring

Shout-it-to-the-Heavens Inspiring

“Xena: Warrior Princess, which ran for six years before it ended in 2001, was a show that charmed even as it taught its audience a thing or two,” American former model and actress Jennifer…

Freeze Frame in the Alaskan Wilderness

Freeze Frame in the Alaskan Wilderness

New Zealand director Scott Walker, who is currently promoting his first feature film The Frozen Ground, talked recently to KFTV about all aspects of the production, from development and casting right through to getting…

Moa Bones Kill Dino DNA Dream

Moa Bones Kill Dino DNA Dream

The dream of resuscitating dinosaur species – a la Jurassic Park – has been dealt a death blow in a new study examining the decay rate of DNA in the bones of the extinct…

NZ Does Do-Good Ads Better than Anyone

NZ Does Do-Good Ads Better than Anyone

Public service announcements, or PSAs, are a tough nut for the advertising world to crack, particularly when tackling drink-driving or the dangers of drugs. Too often a worthy cause is “laughably ineffective preachy”…

Beyond the Edge Premieres in Toronto

Beyond the Edge Premieres in Toronto

“In 1953, no one even knew if it could be done,” says Auckland-based Leanne Pooley, director of the 3-D documentary Beyond the Edge, which chronicles Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay’s…

Cormack on Remand in Wentworth Drama

Cormack on Remand in Wentworth Drama

Auckland-born actress Danielle Cormack, 42, has said she jumps at the chance to play strong women, this time in the lead role of Bea Smith in Wentworth Prison, a contemporary reworking of Prisoner:…

Cage and Cusack Star in Impressive Debut

Cage and Cusack Star in Impressive Debut

New Zealand-born writer-director Scott Walker’s “impressive debut” The Frozen Ground, starring Nicholas Cage and John Cusack “amounts to an exploitation flick about the hunt for Alaska’s most notorious serial killer, but told with style and…

Dame Kiri Becomes Dame Melba on Downton

Dame Kiri Becomes Dame Melba on Downton

New Zealand-born opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, who has sung for presidents and princes, including in front of a 600-million audience at Prince Charles’s wedding to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, has revealed…

Compelling Drama Fantasy Blend to Air in US

Compelling Drama Fantasy Blend to Air in US

New Zealand television series The Almighty Johnsons has been bought by American cable channel Syfy, marking the first time a wholly New Zealand-made television drama has aired in the United States. The NBCU cabler has…

Fighting for Recognition in a New Field

Fighting for Recognition in a New Field

New Zealand stuntwoman Zoë Bell’s film Raze is screening at the Imperial Theatre as part of the one of the most influential genre film festivals in the world, the Fantasia International Film…

Fairy Tale Television Role for Actress

Fairy Tale Television Role for Actress

New Zealand actress Rose McIver, 24, who starred in Peter Jackson’s 2009 film The Lovely Bones, has landed the pivotal season three role of Tinker Bell on the ABC fairy tale drama, Once…

Peter Jackson a ‘Game Changer’ who ‘transformed’ Filmmaking

Peter Jackson a ‘Game Changer’ who ‘transformed’ Filmmaking

Kiwi director, Peter Jackson is a “game changer who transformed the practice of filmmaking”, according to contributors to the Harvard Business Review’s popular blog. Authors Vijay Govindarajan and Srikanth Srinivas say that Jackson and…

South Africa and NZ Join Film Forces

South Africa and NZ Join Film Forces

Executives from the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) have been meeting with producers at the Durban FilmMart (DFM) to research potential development and co-production opportunities. Representatives from the NZFC and the National Film &…

Keeping It Snappy with Local Shorts Screening

Keeping It Snappy with Local Shorts Screening

Eight locally made short films will screen at the one-session New Zealand Short Film Festival held on 14 August in Sydney and 22 August in Brisbane. The films will screen representing the very best…

Jackson Live-Blogs The Hobbit’s Final Day

Jackson Live-Blogs The Hobbit’s Final Day

After more than two years, Peter Jackson has finished filming the final installment of The Hobbit trilogy. With the final scenes shot on 26 July, the award-winning director wrote on his Facebook…

Timtimfed Makes Web Films on His Own Terms

Timtimfed Makes Web Films on His Own Terms

Originally from Christchurch, Michael Shanks, 22, otherwise known by his pseudonym “Timtimfed”, is creating some of the best gaming parodies on the web. Shanks was one of the hosts of a recent PAX Australia…

Top of the Lake Receives Eight Emmy Nods

Top of the Lake Receives Eight Emmy Nods

New Zealand director Jane Campion mini-series Top of the Lake has received eight Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Miniseries of Movie, Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries and Outstanding Directing in a Miniseries. The New Zealand-shot…