NZ films to show at Beijing Festival
20 Apr 2011
Two New Zealand movies will join a line up of top rated films from around the world to be screened at the inaugural Beijing International Film Festival later this month.
Jason Stutter’s crime comedy, Predicament, starring Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords), Heath Franklin and Hayden Frost, and Simone Horrocks’ debut feature After the Waterfall, starring Antony Starr and Sally Stockwell, will both screen as part of the Festival’s Film Panorama programme.
Predicament, a crime comedy, is based on a 1975 novel by Kiwi author Ronald Hugh Morrieson and is set in the Taranaki rural town of Hawera in the North Island.
After the Waterfall is a drama based on the novel 'The Paraffin Child' and was shot at Piha on the west coast of Auckland.
Unique NZ films
New Zealand Film Commission chief executive Graeme Mason says the two unique New Zealand films will join a festival line-up of top movies from around the world, including this year’s Academy Award winners.
China is now one of the largest film markets in the world with the greatest potential for expansion and the inaugural film festival, which will be held from 23 - 28 April, is seen as a major development.
Predicament writer/director Jason Stutter says he is honoured to be invited to Beijing as a guest of the festival and to have his film selected.
"I am a huge fan of Chinese cinema, especially martial art movies, and I'm excited the festival ambassadors are Jackie Chan and Crouching Tiger's Ziyi Zhang. Of course now the temptation is to try and set up some kind of awesome stand-off between the two stars - YouTube gold."
After the Waterfall writer/director Simone Horrocks is unable to attend the festival but says having her film selected is a great opportunity.
"Beijing is a city exploding with creative energy, so it's a great honour to be invited to the birth of this new film festival, and have the opportunity to share After the Waterfall with Chinese audiences," she said.
The Beijing festival aims to provide a platform for exchanges and transactions for domestic and overseas films.
China favours home-grown movies and imposes a strict quota of 20 foreign films that can be shown a year, which are usually big Hollywood blockbusters like Avatar.
In 2010, a film co-production sgreement was signed between New Zealand and the People's Republic of China, enabling approved joint film projects to gain ‘official co-production' status.
Jemaine Clement in a 'Predicament'
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