5 items from 2014
Exclusive: Toa Fraser’s action-thriller sells to UK, Germany and China, among others.
Rights have also gone to Ascot Elite for Germany, Movies Inspired for Italy, Fabula Films for Turkey, Falcon for the Middle East and Hgc for China. The Jokers previously acquired rights for France.
The film was shot on location in Auckland and the central North Island of New Zealand and follows a chieftan’s son who sets out to avenge his father’s murder.
Ian Dawson at [link »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Toa Fraser’s brutal actioner “The Dead Lands” got an unexpected Twitter boost Thursday night when a fire alarm emptied the near-capacity 1,200-seat Ryerson Theatre just minutes before the film world premiere in Toronto.
Cast and audience mingled outside — posting selfies snapped in front of the flashing fire engine and captioned with “hot film” comments — for several minutes before getting the all-clear.
Back inside, the coming-of-age story of tribal rivalry, warrior honor and the spiritual bond to one’s ancestors, which unfolds in pre-colonial New Zealand, clearly captivated Thursday’s audience — the first ever to witness mau rakau, the traditional Maori martial art of armed combat, on the bigscreen.
“The crazy thing is, it’s been there for the taking all along but hadn’t been done,” Fraser said. “My feeling is this is the beginning of a New Zealand genre.”
Auckland-based Fraser was introduced to the script — penned by »
- Jennie Punter
and personnel — in “The Dead Lands.” This irst action movie for helmer Toa Fraser after the gentler seriocomic likes of “Dean Spanley” and “Naming Number Two” certainly doesn’t lack vigor, even if its thundering brutality and ultra-macho atmosphere do eventually grow a bit monotonous. Pic boasts spectacular Kiwi scenery and the novelty of being smong warring pre-colonial Maori tribes to attract attention. More adventuresome fans of brutal hand-to-hand-combat might be thrilled, though the presence of Maori dialogue (subtitled) and mysticism may strand this well-crafted item between arthouse and mainstream territory in some markets. Home-format sales should be fairly hale.
Sixteen-year-old Hongi (James Rolleston, also in Toronto title “The Dark Horse”), not unkindly considered “no warrior” by tribal chieftain father Tane (George Henare), is observing an apparent peacekeeping mission between two clans when he observes something else: Trailing the other side’s representative, he sees Wirepa (Te Kohe Tuhaka) deliberately »
- Dennis Harvey
Cannes — Leanne Pooley, whose last pic “Beyond the Edge” played at the Toronto Film Festival, has kicked off production on “25 April,” an animated docu drama about Gallipoli, the World War I battle in which thousands of Australians and New Zealanders died. K5 Intl. is handling international sales.
Pic looks at events at Gallipoli, from the landing of the Aussie and Kiwis troops in 1915 to their evacuation later that year, through the eyes of six Australian and New Zealand soldiers. The campaign led people from both countries to question their place in the British Empire.
Pic is co-written by Tim Woodhouse and produced by Matthew Metcalfe for General Film Corporation (“Beyond the Edge,” “Dean Spanley”), in association with U.K.-based Pitfan Prods. The animation will be created by Auckland-based Flux Animation Studios, led by its founder and creative director Brent Chambers.
Transmission Films will release the film in New Zealand »
- Leo Barraclough
Jack Webb didn.t go to film school and taught himself the art of directing. He.s just demonstrated that a lack of formal training is no barrier to writing and directing a feature film.
Hand of Art follows a young artist who pursues his passion regardless of the doubts and the costs to his relationships. Webb aims to finish a cut next month in time to submit to the Sydney Film Festival.
Webb spent 21 days filming on his parents. historic farm near Canberra plus three days in Brisbane and a day each on the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. »
- Don Groves
5 items from 2014
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