News of New Zealanders via Global Media

That’ll be 2 Gandalfs and a Bilbo, thanks

That’ll be 2 Gandalfs and a Bilbo, thanks

A series of Lord of the Rings collectors’ coins will be legal tender in NZ by 2004. The gold, silver and cupro-nickel coins are to be struck by the Royal Mint for NZ Post…

Euphoria Against the Odds

Euphoria Against the Odds

The world premiere of Jane Campion’s An Angel at My Table was listed as one of the 50 greatest moments in the Sydney Film Festival’s first 50 years of running in a Sydney Morning…

Hunter in denial

Hunter in denial

Rachel Hunter has won a role in Britain’s eagerly anticipated version of Sex & the City – Denial. The show, which has been at the centre of an international bidding war, is being touted…

NYNZ – Ihimaera on

NYNZ – Ihimaera on

Whale Rider author and ex-diplomat to the US Witi Ihimaera interviewed in New York – the city where he penned the story behind the award-winning film. “One morning I woke up to the sound…

Queen of the Castle

Queen of the Castle

Exuding star quality while remaining “refreshingly down-to-earth”, Whale Rider star Keisha Castle-Hughes, feted in the New York Post, The State, and the Seattle Times and is cover-girl in Hawaii’s Weekend Star…

Bollywood Hills

Bollywood Hills

NZ based Bollywood production company – Kuran Films – cottoned on to the the country’s scenic opportunities well before Lord of the Rings. Established in 1993 by Kamal Singh, Kuran now has 8 films…

Rings wins double at Saturns

Rings wins double at Saturns

Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was a multiple winner at the 29th annual Saturn Awards – a joint presentation of the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films and…

Jeffs with best

Jeffs with best

Christine Jeffs’ acclaimed feature, Rain, was included in the second series of the Zahir Raihan Film Society’s Best Films of 2002, joining Philip Noyce’s The Quiet American and Mike Leigh’s All or Nothing. The…

Faceless Fame

Faceless Fame

As the voice of Star Wars: Episode II character Tuan We, NZ actress Rena Owen has added a strange new dimension to her working life. Now based in LA, the Once Were Warriors star…

The art of myth-making

The art of myth-making

Whale Rider director Niki Caro speaks to The Age about the intricate cultural process involved in a “white woman” making a Maori film. Despite early resistance to her involvement, and her subsequent self-doubt, Caro…

Tom cruises off

Tom cruises off

Actor Tom Cruise has bid farewell to Taranaki, the place he called home for the past 4 months. The Hollywood A-lister was on location filming The Last Samurai; an epic-scale production which has proved…

Whale Raves: Part 2

Whale Raves: Part 2

Whale Rider‘s Australian release has unleashed a second wave of glowing tributes. The Age: ” sharply observed, warm portrayal of a community … of an indigenous people moving between certainties and uncertainties.” Sydney…

Whale riding on east (and west) coast

Whale riding on east (and west) coast

NYTimes’ critic Elvis Mitchell praises Niki Caro’s Whale Rider as having the “inspired resonance of found art wickedly absorbing”, and the quiet charisma of actress Keisha Castle-Hughes.The film along with fellow NZ…

Celebrating Kiwi-ness

Celebrating Kiwi-ness

Countless international critics have praised the universal themes explored in Niki Caro’s Whale Rider; what a reviewer for the Age finds most impressive is its quintessential Kiwi-ness. “Whale Rider sounds like it could be…

Boyd baffles in London

Boyd baffles in London

The Guardian art critic admits defeat in his attempts to explain Boyd Webb’s short film – Horse and Dog – currently on show at London’s Estorick Collection. Adrian Searle: “Immune to Webb’s enigmas and…

FAQ: “Why (oh God, why)?”

FAQ: “Why (oh God, why)?”

NZer Simon Jansen profiled as online icon of the week in The Scotsman‘s “lazy guide to net culture.” Jansen is a master of asciimation; making moving pictures out of letters, numerals and punctuation marks….

X-factor

X-factor

Anna Paquin featured in New York Daily News, one of numerous high-profile interviews given during her hectic promotional tour for X-Men 2. Currently finishing an English major at Columbia between films, Paquin’s next plan…

In His Father’s Image, The Shadow of a Mountain

In His Father’s Image, The Shadow of a Mountain

Peter Hillary interviewed about his own Everest experience and his part in the filming of National Geographic‘s documentary, Surviving Everest. “Our challenge was not just to climb, but to make the film about the…

Teen angst pays off

Teen angst pays off

Wellington actress Michelle Ang has been nominated for Australia’s premiere television award (a Logie) for her role in Neighbours. Ang, who has previously appeared in The Tribe and McDonalds Young Entertainers, is entered in…

Lately I’ve Been Lost it Seems … Jane Austen Spiced-up

Lately I’ve Been Lost it Seems … Jane Austen Spiced-up

Gurinda Chadha – director of international hit Bend it Like Beckham – has cast Kiwi actor Martin Henderson as Mr Darcy in her musical version of Pride and Prejudice. Henderson, most recently seen in…

Acting up

Acting up

NZ actor Daniel Gillies (Street Legal) is on the brink of international stardom, with forthcoming roles in Hollywood blockbusters SpiderMan 2 and Head in the Clouds, opposite Charlize Theron and Penelope Cruz. Gillies…

Wellywood Weighs In

Wellywood Weighs In

An Anna Fifield Financial Times feature reviews the remarkable growth of the NZ film industry in the wake of its latest coup: Peter Jackson’s King Kong. “For the country’s film industry, the project marks…

Jackson (and NZ) goes ape

Jackson (and NZ) goes ape

Watch out Sky Tower: Peter Jackson is to direct a remake of King Kong for Universal Pictures. The epic production will be filmed on location in NZ and released globally in 2005. Says an…

Local Film; Universal Message

Local Film; Universal Message

Niki Caro’s Whale Rider was the star attraction at the annual Boston International Festival of Women’s Cinema. According to organisers, the “breathtakingly luminous” film perfectly captured the festival’s central theme of “becoming the person…

One GPS to find them all

One GPS to find them all

Detroit Free Press feature on Rings tourism recommends Ian Brodie’s Lord of the Rings Location Book. One for the truly dedicated, the guide offers the exact coordinates of incidental sites for those equipped with…

Edge intelligence: Donaldson delivers

Edge intelligence: Donaldson delivers

Observer reviews The Recruit, the latest Hollywood offering from one of NZ cinema’s pioners, LA-based Roger Donaldson. “Slick and highly enjoyable … scenes of induction and seduction have an almost documentary feel and the…

Jackson fan club continued…

Jackson fan club continued…

Michael Scragow, former staff writer for The New Yorker and Rolling Stone, airs his opinions on this year’s Oscars. “I am just floored that Peter Jackson was not nominated for best director … I…

Voters Under Ring’s Influence

Voters Under Ring’s Influence

The Lord of the Rings trilogy was voted second most influential movie/s of the last 75 years in a poll for BBC News Online, ahead of Citizen Kane, the Godfather series and 2001: A…

Everest: The Next Generation

Everest: The Next Generation

Peter Hillary and Jamling Norgay have collaborated on a National Geographic documentary about Mount Everest to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their fathers’ pioneering climb. Both have reached the famous summit themselves, and are…

Winning-over Delhi bellies

Winning-over Delhi bellies

The Taj Palace Hotel in Delhi held a NZ food festival in honour of The Two Towers‘ Indian release. The event, organised by the NZ Trade Commission, aimed to win the hearts of…

What becomes of the faint-hearted?

What becomes of the faint-hearted?

Monica McWilliams of Northern Ireland’s Women’s Coalition names Once Were Warriors as her all-time favourite flick in a survey by Belfast Film Festival organisers. She describes it as “a powerful role for a…

Hollywood hits the west coast

Hollywood hits the west coast

A charity screening of Andrew Niccol’s Simone was held in his hometown of Paraparaumu, March 24. According to father Don Niccol, Simone “cocks a snook” at Hollywood by attacking “several dearly held Hollywood clichés.”…

Toy Love a “clear winner”

Toy Love a “clear winner”

NZ comedy Toy Love has won the Audience Award at Portugal’s Fantasporto 2003 film festival. Says writer-director Harry Sinclair; “I’m thrilled about the award. It’s a highly respected festival, so it will certainly…

FX to rule them all

FX to rule them all

The Two Towers cleaned up at the Visual Effects Society awards in L.A, winning 8 of the 9 categories for which it was nominated. Towers streaked ahead of Star Wars: Episode II to…

Peace Fest

Peace Fest

NZ feature The Price of Milk is to screen at the inaugural Kuala Lumpur World Film Festival. The festival, held in conjunction with the 13th Non-Aligned Movement Summit (NAM), is appropriately themed “Peace, Harmony,…

Saint Cruise of Taranaki

Saint Cruise of Taranaki

Tom Cruise – Taranaki’s favourite adoptive son – has come to the financial aid of a local school. The Edge radio station had offered $5,000 to whoever could get the Hollywood star on air….

Reel-time Direction

Reel-time Direction

NZ-born Rodney Charters (The Pretender, Roswell) is the directing force behind the latest US television sensation, 24. Described as “a heart-stopping hit,” the 24 hour-long episodes represent one day in the life of Jack…

Crowe KO’s the Competition

Crowe KO’s the Competition

Empire‘s 2003 awards had a strong NZ flavour, with Russell Crowe picking up Best Actor and Peter Jackson and The Two Towers winning Best Director and Best Film. In other Crowe news, the NZ-born…

Jackson cuts down

Jackson cuts down

Peter Jackson has announced his next film project and it’s not The Hobbit or King Kong. Taking a much-needed break from the epic-scale, Jackson is rumoured to be adapting medical history for the screen…

Precious Guests

Precious Guests

Gollum and his maker are to share star-billing at the University of Teesside’s annual animation festival. Weta Digital’s lead animator, Jason Schleifer, will be on hand to deliver a series of lectures and workshops.

Crowd Pleaser

Crowd Pleaser

Niki Caro’s Whale Rider continues to charm international viewers, receiving audience awards at both Sundance and Rotterdam. Caro: “As far as I understand, no one’s won at both Toronto and Sundance in the same year…

Hobbits air-borne

Hobbits air-borne

Air New Zealand has launched its second “hobbit plane” with a maiden voyage to Los Angeles. The fuselage features Rings characters Aragorn and Arwen, as well as picturesque NZ scenery, in a canny marketing…

Edge-istential Cinema

Edge-istential Cinema

NZ filmmaker Andrew Niccol is again poised to ” filmgoers into audacious mind games” with his latest feature Simone. Like previous projects Gattaca and The Truman Show, Simone explores the complicity of the media…

Jackson in heavyweight division

Jackson in heavyweight division

Accolades continue to come thick and fast for Peter Jackson, the latest being a prestigious Directors Guild of America nomination. Jackson is up against Stephen Daldry (The Hours), Rob Marshall (Chicago), and heavyweights Roman…

Big win for A Small Life

Big win for A Small Life

NZ film A Small Life won an inspiring 8 awards at the Karachi International Film Festival (Karafilm). Out of a field of over 75 films, Michael Heath’s “haunting and moving musical” was awarded Best Short Feature, Best…

Cruisin’ Taranaki

Cruisin’ Taranaki

Hollywood A-listers Tom Cruise and Gwyneth Paltrow are both currently on location in NZ. Paltrow is in Dunedin filming scenes for Christine Jeff’s adaptation of the life of Sylvia Plath, while Cruise has set…

Two Films Tower Over Rest

Two Films Tower Over Rest

The Piano and The Fellowship of the Ring both made SMH‘s list of the top 100 movies of all time. “For the first time in a century, Hollywood was beaten in the big budget…

Precious Acclaim: Two Films Tower Over Rest

Precious Acclaim: Two Films Tower Over Rest

“For the first time in a century, Hollywood was beaten in the big budget fantasy stakes. Jackson and his team delivered better special effects and better story-telling in what could be the new millennium’s…

Best supporting instrument

Best supporting instrument

LA Times names The Piano as one of the instrument’s most memorable cinematic tributes in the history of film. “In a category of its own is Jane Campion’s modern-day classic The Piano… [Campion is one who…

Pick of the critics

Pick of the critics

Peter Jackson has received a nomination for best director from the London Film Critics Circle for his work on Lord of the Rings. The prestigious awards are chosen by London reviewers and are to be presented…

Couch Potato Paradise

Couch Potato Paradise

Fellowship of the Ring wins “hands down” the best DVD of 2002 according to a New York Times review. “A movie of 208 minutes takes some tall explaining, but here we develop sympathy for the notion…

News Lexicon

News Lexicon

“The real Middle Earth” features in the annual BBC round-up of new additions to the media lexicon. The official definition: “The country formerly known as New Zealand. An NZ government minister has been appointed unofficial ‘minister for…

Marketing Middle Earth

Marketing Middle Earth

“Historically isolated by geography, NZers are working to reap a publicity bonanza from , marketing their nation around the world as a destination for family tourism and ‘a second Canada’ for…

Jackson: Hobbit or Wizard?

Jackson: Hobbit or Wizard?

Boston Globe: “Who would have guessed that it would take a woolly bear horror-flick director from New Zealand to restore our faith in epic moviemaking?” Praise for Peter Jackson reaches epic proportions of…

Muss  vs. Hollywood

Muss  vs. Hollywood

“It is not just Lord of the Rings that is ushering in a golden age of Kiwi cinema. Everywhere you look, NZers are taking over Tinseltown.” From Peter Jackson, Lee Tamahori and Vincent Ward,…

Rings blitzes box-office

Rings blitzes box-office

The Two Towers has set new box-office records around the globe, breaking those set by its predecessor last year. The film made $5.2 million on its first day of release in Australia, and