NZ Films take Top Honours at Berlin

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Three New Zealand films were honoured at the closing awards ceremony of the on Saturday, 20th February:

  1. Taika Waititis feature film Boy, was awarded the Grand Prix, Best Feature Film, Generation Section by the International Jury;
  2. Tom Burstyns documentary feature, This Way Of Life, received a Special Mention, Generation Section by the Childrens Jury;
  3. Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherlands short The Six Dollar Fifty Man, received a Special Mention Generation Section by the International Jury.

Announcing the Award for Boy, the Generation Kplus International Jury said:

With a genuine voice and a remarkable spirit, the winner is a film with bold direction, a fearless risk-taker. It tackles difficult subject matter not with preaching, sentimentality or self-pity but with humour, often treating tragedy and comedy simultaneously. Because its so enjoyable it is easy to underestimate the depth of this film. It is a rich mix of ideas which strike and collide to create poetic moments that speak, despite the remote location, to all of us today. With fantastic charismatic performances all around, including a striking moustache on the director.

New Zealand Film Commission CEO Graeme Mason congratulated the filmmakers and their success at the Berlinale and noted the films represented the different types of support the NZFC could offer filmmakers. Boy is Taikas second feature film and was funded by the both the NZFC and Film Fund and utilised SPIF; This Way of Life is an independent production which received post production funding and support from the NZFC; and The Six Dollar Fifty Man is the second successful short by Mark and Louis whom are now in development on a feature film with the NZFC.

BerlinFilmFTaika Waititi, Tom Burstyn and Barbara Sumner Burstyn were in Berlin to accept their films awards.

Boy is financed by the New Zealand Film Fund, NZ Film Commission, Unison Films, NZ On Air, Maori Television Service and Te Mangai Paho. The film will be released in NZ through Transmission Films on March 25th 2010.

The Six Dollar Fifty Man was made with finance from the Short Film Fund of the NZ Film Commission.

NZ Film, the sales arm of the NZFC, is handling world sales for both Boy and The Six Dollar Fifty Man.

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