It’s not a bumper year for the quantity of NZ features in the festival, but the quality isn’t diminished. Tearepa Kahi’s Poi E opened the festival and, last weekend, Alison Maclean’s The Rehearsal was the festival’s centrepiece screening. Once you go past those NZFC-supported titles there are seven other features playing the festival in Auckland, a varying number elsewhere, and a raft of shorts in and out of competition.
A common thread of many of those local titles is the large number of people who’ve worked on them at discounted rates or less, giving back to the industry. While we don’t touch the NZIFF titles in this edition of Crewed, we’ve been privileged to talk with the creators of a couple of independently-made titles – Christian Nicolson’s long-coming award-winning sci-fi feature This Giant Papier Mache Boulder Is Actually Really Heavy and Ness Simons’ webseries Pot Luck. We’ve also caught up with recent NZFC recruit Leanne Saunders, no slouch as a producer of lower-budget features until she blotted her copybook with Hunt for the Wilderpeople.
At the somewhat better-paying end of the spectrum, we enjoy a slice of the celebrations of the first birthday of the Rebel Fleet, the arrival of some high-end VR gear in Auckland for Staples Productions, and take a look at the tricks of the trade facilitating SPP’s recreation of the 1981 Rugby Park test in Hamilton for Westside. And we refrain from any jokes about how little work is required to make Hamilton look like the 1980s.
Rounding out this issue costume designer Barbara Darragh talks blood, sweat and more blood and editor Jai Waite reflects on a career that’s taken in Attitude and winning medals in Asia and at the Olympics – which will be under way in Rio with or without attending Fairfax and NZME journalists by the time the next edition of Crewed rolls around.
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Keith is the editor of SCREENZ, and the co-creator and founding editor of CREWED.