Two NZ films selected for Berlin festival
21 Dec 2009
Two Kiwi feature films will share the screen at next year’s 60th anniversary Berlinale - Berlin International Film Festival.
Taika Waititi’s Boy, and the Tom Burstyn-directed documentary feature This Way of Life have been selected for the Generation programme of the 2010 festival.
The Generation programme is judged by two juries. The young persons' jury awards the Crystal Bear to the best feature film, and an international expert jury awards a cash prize to the best feature film.
While one is a drama and the other a documentary, both New Zealand entries were shot on the North Island's east coast, and tell the story of a Maori family.
Taika Waititi is best known for his Oscar-nominated and multi-award winning short film Two Cars, One Night, and for his off-beat international feature breakthrough Eagle vs Shark.
Boy - which Waititi says was inspired by Two Cars, One Night - is a coming-of-age film shot in the film-maker’s childhood home of Waihau Bay, a small coastal village in one of New Zealand’s most isolated regions.
Boy has also been selected to screen at the Sundance Film Festival, in January 2010.
Taika Waititi is highly regarded at the Berlin festival. Two Cars, One Night won the Panorama Short Film Award in 2004, and another short film Tama Tu received the Special Jury Prize in 2005.
‘This Way of Life’
This Way of Life is a powerful family portrait that follows real-life parents Peter and Colleen Karena and their six children over four years as they live an unorthodox lifestyle in harmony with nature. It is narrated by 11-year-old Llewelyn (Wellie) Karena.
Already a hit at the 2009 New Zealand and Vancouver film festivals, This Way of Life is a small budget production from Cloud South Films. It will be one of only three films to receive free translation into German for the Berlin festival.
Cloud South Films brings together the talents of Kiwi Canadian cinematographer and director Tom Burstyn and journalist Barbara Sumner Burstyn. Tom Burstyn directed the multi-award winning documentary One Man, One Cow, One Planet.
This Way of Life has also been selected for the Palm Springs International Festival (5 - 18 January 2010).
Berlin International Film Festival
The Berlin International Film Festival has been running for 60 years, and is one of the world’s top film festivals attracting thousands of entries from film-makers around the world.
The Berlinale runs from 11 - 21 February 2010.
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