News of New Zealanders via Global Media

Wild about Buddha

Wild about Buddha

Anna Wilding’s feature length documentary Buddha Wild sold out its sneak preview sessions at Rialto Cinemas as well as in Thailand, with all proceeds going to the tsunami appeal. Expect big things on the…

Kiwis on Both Sides of the Camera

Kiwis on Both Sides of the Camera

Fresh on the heels of her international success with Whale Rider, Niki Caro is to direct an as yet untitled feature for Warner Bros. Starring Charlize Theron, Woody Harrelson, Sissy Spacek and Sean Bean,…

Lovely Bones

Lovely Bones

Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens are to develop the Alice Sebold novel The Lovely Bones as their next film after King Kong. Though “The Lovely Bones” is not on the order of…

Connolly lost for words?

Connolly lost for words?

Billy Connolly’s World Tour of New Zealand screened in Scotland over December, to widespread appreciation. “Driving his three-wheeled motorbike through some of the world’s most dramatic scenery with the sun blazing overhead, Connolly looks…

Return of the cast

Return of the cast

If Peter Jackson ever decides (and has the time) to make a film version of The Hobbit, he has the backing and blessing of his LotR cast. “People want it so much,” says actor…

Big shoes to fill

Big shoes to fill

Peter Jackson unveiled some of his models and sketches for King Kong at the CineAsia movie convention in Bangkok. “It’s not a love story; it’s a story about love,” he told the convention audience,…

Worthy mentor for worthy cause

Worthy mentor for worthy cause

NZ filmmaker Christine Rogers helped a group of Broadmeadows Secondary School (Melbourne) students make the short film By the Light of the Moon. The film tells the stories of two refugees who have settled…

Leader of the Pack

Leader of the Pack

Dunedin based production company, National History New Zealand, won two major awards at this year’s Beijing International Science Film Festival. The World’s Biggest Baddest Bugs and Spider Power took gold and silver respectively in the Nature and Environment…

Next stop Oscar?

Next stop Oscar?

Taika Waititi’s Two Cars, One Night won the Grand Jury Prize for best international short at the AFI Los Angeles Film Festival. The story of a relationship which develops between two children in the…

Breaking New Ground

Breaking New Ground

Phil Keoghan’s US profile continues to climb, with a hit TV series and inspirational book – No Opportunity Wasted: Creating a List for Life  under his belt. Currently in his…

Two for Parr

Two for Parr

Larry Parr’s Fracture scooped two major awards at the St Tropez Film Festival in October. Auckland’s Kate Elliot won Best Actress and the film was voted most popular festival entry by the audience. “We…

From South Korea with love

From South Korea with love

NZ launched its inaugural South Korean Film Festival in Auckland on October 22. Actresses Chang Mi-hee and Park Sol-mi, directors Kang Je-gyu and Kwak Jae-yong, and critic Yu Gi-na attended the week long event,…

Accidental winner

Accidental winner

Sally Andrews won Best Actress at this year’s San Diego Film Festival for her starring role in NZ feature, Her Majesty. The 15-year-old Hutt Valley High School student is a self-described “accidental actress,”…

Melancholy Masterpiece

Melancholy Masterpiece

The Australian mainstream release of In My Father’s Den has seen writer/director Brad McGann dubbed “NZ’s answer to Ken Loach.” Features in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age focus on…

Kiwi scoops top Australian award

Kiwi scoops top Australian award

Slow Water by Annamarie Jagose won the prestigious AU$30,000 fiction prize at the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards in October. Jagose has lived in Australia for 12 years and is currently on leave from the…

All-conquering Conchords

All-conquering Conchords

US network giant NBC (home to Seinfeld and Friends) has signed Kiwi comics Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, better known as Flight of the Conchords. Casting executive Marc Hirschfeld was won over by…

On top of the Down Under world

On top of the Down Under world

Is It?, a co-production by Emily Ansell (NZ) and Leonie Blignaut (SAF), won first prize at the UpOverDownUnder film festival in London. The annual event promotes independent film making in Britain’s Antipodean and South…

The money or the bag?

The money or the bag?

Scott Smith of Auckland became the 7th contestant to face the million dollar question on hit Australian quiz show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire. The aspiring minister ended up taking $500,000 as opposed…

Just don’t ask him to assume the brace position

Just don’t ask him to assume the brace position

Auckland armour maker, Warren Ormsby-Green, made Web India‘s ‘What in the Weird’ equivalent with his air travel exploits. Ormsby-Green, who created pieces for LotR and The Last Samurai, wears a full set of armour…

Scene stealer

Scene stealer

Star feature on veteran US stuntwoman Jeannie Epper makes mention of her NZ protégé, Zoë Bell. Bell’s career to date includes doubling for Lucy Lawless in Xena, Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, and Halle…

International acclaim for national story

International acclaim for national story

NZ/British co-production In My Father’s Den won the prestigious Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique (FIPRESCI) award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Directed by NZer Brad McGann and based on…

Comedy with a Conscience

Comedy with a Conscience

The Ball, an Australian spoof of The Piano by Anny Slater, has been nominated by the UN for a Media Peace Prize. According to Canada’s St Johns Film Festival, “The Ball is a hilarious…

Jolly green giant

Jolly green giant

It’s official: Shrek 2 is the third highest-grossing film of all time, behind Titanic and the first Star Wars. Directed by Kiwi Andrew Adamson, Shrek 2 was the surprise hit of the US…

Wellywood in the Spotlight

Wellywood in the Spotlight

The world’s eyes are on Wellington once again as production steps up on Peter Jackson’s King Kong remake. Jackson promises to make a “wonderful, mysterious adventure film” worthy of the iconic 1933 original, which…

Addicted to Jackson

Addicted to Jackson

Empire offers hope to fans experiencing panic attacks at “the thought of a year without a Peter Jackson film.” Shooting on the next Jackson-helmed epic – King Kong – begins in August of this…

Kong

Kong

The three principal stars of Peter Jackson’s King Kong are raving about the film and its Wellington location before shooting has even begun. Adrien Brody: “The facilities here are incredible … I…

A weighty story

A weighty story

A feature-length biopic of NZ sporting icon Precious McKenzie is in the works, with London-based Precious UK Ltd and South Africa’s Unital Films International already on board. The screenplay, written by…

Shifting mythology

Shifting mythology

A study of Peter Jackson’s LotR trilogy by the University of Wales has been extended due to an unexpectedly large public response. More than 25,000 people from all over the world have completed the…

King of the Jungle

King of the Jungle

20-year-old Turanga Merito has assumed the lead role of Simba in the Sydney production of The Lion King, after fellow Kiwi Vincent Harder bowed out for family reasons. The Disney blockbuster draws a minimum…

Stopping traffic

Stopping traffic

Cliff Curtis earns praise across the Tasman for his gritty performance in Traffic: The Miniseries. Australian: “By far the best performance is from Maori actor Cliff Curtis. His dark complexion means he is…

Hollywood’s Latest Bad Boy

Hollywood’s Latest Bad Boy

Karl Urban (LotR, Chronicles of Riddick) has won over US critics with his portrayal of “malignant hit-man Kirill” in the critically acclaimed action sequel, The Bourne Supremacy. According to the Chicago Tribune, “Urban, playing…

The world hears our stories

The world hears our stories

Fracture, an adaptation of Maurice Gee’s novel Crime Story by Larry Parry, is to make its North American debut at the 28th Montreal World Film Festival (26 August  6…

Neill on Board

Neill on Board

Sam Neill is to star in a BBC Two adaptation of William Golding’s acclaimed sea trilogy, To the Ends of the Earth. Directed by David Attwood, the three 90-minute programs will be filmed in…

Snakes alive

Snakes alive

NZ company Silverscreen is collaborating with British and Taiwanese financiers on a film version of an ancient Chinese legend. Lady White Snake will be filmed in English with a budget of US$40 million. Cast…

Miramar Mentor

Miramar Mentor

Peter Jackson was ranked 20th in pay and 12th overall in Forbes’ annual Celebrity 100 List. The accompanying feature was full of praise for NZ’s newest national hero. “Filmmaker Peter Jackson – assiduously disheveled,…

“The estimable John Clarke”

“The estimable John Clarke”

Telemovie adaptations of Shane Maloney’s novels Stiff and The Brush Off by NZ comic John Clarke were a critical and ratings success in Australia, the former netting more than 1.3 million viewers on…

Short & sweet

Short & sweet

Two NZ short films have been selected to compete at both the Montreal World Film Festival in August and the Valladolid International Film Festival in Spain in October; Boy,…

Prime slot for Kiwi production

Prime slot for Kiwi production

In My Father’s Den opened this year’s Sydney Film Festival – the first time a NZ feature has done so in the event’s 50-year history. Directed by Brad McGann, the film is based…

Jackson Gets the Youth Vote

Jackson Gets the Youth Vote

The Return of the King won the coveted prize for Best Film at this year’s MTV Awards in LA. Other big winners were Pirates of the Caribbean and Kill Bill Vol.1.  

Harry Potter gets Edge makeover

Harry Potter gets Edge makeover

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban has received reviews far outstripping the first two films in the franchise, thanks largely to its radical new director cinematographer team of Alfonso Cuaron (Y Tu Mama…

Greenbacks for green ogre

Greenbacks for green ogre

Shrek 2 (directed by Kiwi Andrew Adamson) confounded US box office analysts by taking an incredible US$104.3 million on its first weekend of release – $20 million more than predicted. This makes it the…

Kiwi cuisine

Kiwi cuisine

The NZ Film Commission party provided the best food at Cannes, according to a festival in the Age. The NZFC flew in six top chefs from Auckland for the event.

Go Speed Racer

Go Speed Racer

NZ director Roger Donaldson is bringing the life of Invercargill’s legendary motorcyclist Burt Munro to the silver screen, with Sir Anthony Hopkins in the starring role. Entitled The World’s Fastest Indian (after the 1920…

Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget

Russell Crowe provided the narration for a “ground-breaking” documentary series on Anzac soldiers, recently aired on NZ television and screening in Australia later this year. The series celebrates the bond between NZ and Australian soldiers, from WW1 to…

Something to Crowe about

Something to Crowe about

Russell Crowe’s Maximus (Gladiator) is the greatest movie hero of all time, according to a poll by a British video rental company. Crowe beat Christopher Reeve in Superman, Mel Gibson in Braveheart, and Sigourney Weaver in Aliens…

Taking Maori Stories to the World

Taking Maori Stories to the World

13 April 2004 – Whale Rider star Rawiri Paratene visited Hawaii in mid-April to discuss cultural themes in the film and NZ as a tourist destination. “Whale Rider has been a boom for Maori filmmakers,” said…

King of the Consoles

King of the Consoles

Peter Jackson has joined yet another elite Hollywood club: director’s who earn as much  if not more  from helping create video games as they do from making movies. Riding on the success…

More than just a pretty face

More than just a pretty face

The NZ High Commission in India hosted a festival promoting cultural exchange between the two nations in Delhi, April 5-28. Entitled Aotearoa: The Land of the Long White Cloud, the event included a film…

Jane and the Weta

Jane and the Weta

Weta Workshop is collaborating with Toronto-based animation house Nelvana to produce a CGI television series of Martin Baynton’s popular Jane and the Dragon books. The 26-episode series is Weta’s first foray into children’s programming….

King of the Castle

King of the Castle

The Return of the King has ruled them all at this year’s awards season, having won Oscar glory with 11 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. The final film in the Lord…

Hidden treasures

Hidden treasures

Time Asia recommends Marlborough’s Old St Mary’s Convent, Wanganui’s Bridge to Nowhere lodge, and The Station in Paekakariki to readers wishing to stay off the beaten track. “There’s plenty of the…

Crowning Glory

Crowning Glory

Return of the King – the third and final film in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings series – made a clean sweep of the 2004 Academy Awards, winning 11 Oscars including Best Picture…

Another award for the kete

Another award for the kete

Niki Caro’s Whale Rider was named Best International Film at the 2004 IFP Independent Spirit Awards in Los Angeles. The IFP website calls Whale Rider a “radiant story of an exceptional little girl’s…

Riding her wave of success

Riding her wave of success

Whale Rider star, Keisha Castle-Hughes, spoke to the New York Post about her week spent in Hollywood prior to the 2004 Academy Awards – for which she was the youngest ever nominee in the…

Just in Case You Missed That One..

Just in Case You Missed That One..

The Return of the King picked up yet another prize en route to the Oscars; Best International Film at the inaugural Directors Guild of Great Britain awards.  

Aotearoa in Demand

Aotearoa in Demand

New York Times article asks ‘what’s next?’ of the post-Rings NZ film industry. Insiders predict a slew of big budget international projects, thanks to the government’s recent promise that it would reimburse 12.5% of…