13 Jan 2011

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Short film Manurewa is one of three films picked for the Berlin International Film Festival

One of the world’s oldest and most prestigious Film Festivals has selected three New Zealand short films to grace its screens this year. The 61st Berlin International Film Festival in Germany officially announced its short film line-up today.

‘Outrageous Fortune’ star Tammy Davis’ directorial debut Ebony Society, Sam Peacocke’s Manurewa and Jackie van Beek’s Go the Dogs have been selected for the Generation section of the Festival, which is aimed at youthful audiences. The Generation programme receives thousands of submissions each year and the selection comprises 32 short films and 27 feature length films from 32 countries.

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Taika Waititi, who received the Grand Prix last year for Boy, has been invited to participate on the Generation International Jury to present awards valued at 10,000 Euros.

“Many of these films explore the inner perspectives of adolescents. In the outside world they encounter guardian angels and anti-heroes, although ultimately it is their own selves that they often come painfully close to,” says section director Maryanne Redpath in view of the 59 short and feature films in the Generation programme.

Manurewa explores the tragic murder of Manurewa liquor store owner Navtej Singh and is acclaimed music video director Sam Peacocke’s debut short film. Produced by Kristian Eek and written by Peacocke, the 19-minute film is a multi-stranded narrative impression of the real life robbery and fatal shooting that took place in South Auckland, New Zealand. The film premiered internationally at the Melbourne International Film Festival in 2010.

Ebony Society is a 12-minute film about two teenage boys who break into a house and find themselves confronted with an unexpected situation that will test their friendship and force the boys to consider another way. The short is written by Davis and produced by Ainsley Gardiner (Boy) and Chelsea Winstanley.

Go the Dogs is a short film written and directed by respected theatre actor/director Jackie van Beek. Go the Dogs is about a young teenager with autism who unwittingly embarks on a strange adventure leading to an abandoned farmhouse, where she strikes up an unlikely friendship with a runaway boy. Go the Dogs is produced by Jackie van Beek and Aaron Watson. Van Beek’s debut short film One Shoe Short was selected for BFI London Film Festival in 2008.

Manurewa was self-funded by the filmmakers with assistance from the Independent Filmmakers Fund, a partnership between the NZ Film Commission and Creative New Zealand. Manurewa received post production funding from the NZ Film Commission.