New Zealand Film To Premiere In Competition In France

Press Release – New Zealand Film Commission

New Zealand Film To Premiere In Competition In France Hot new kiwi short film, LAMBS , has been selected to screen in competition at the 34th Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival – widely regarded as the world’s premiere short film event. …
New Zealand Film To Premiere In Competition In France

Hot new kiwi short film, LAMBS, has been selected to screen in competition at the 34th Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival – widely regarded as the world’s premiere short film event. This is the 24th year the Festival has run an international competition with LAMBS selected to compete from 5,701 worldwide submissions.

Funded through the New Zealand Film Commission short film funding initiative, Fresh Shorts, LAMBS tells the story of Jimmy, a big-hearted fourteen year old boy facing a difficult decision – stay in his abusive home to protect his younger siblings, or leave to start a new life of his own.

Written and directed by Wellington filmmaker, Sam Kelly, the script for LAMBS emerged from research for a feature film he is writing, and time spent meeting ‘at risk’ youth from Wellington, New Zealand. “These children have been prosecuted for offences ranging from burglary to aggravated assault. There were similarities in many of their lives, often facing neglect, abuse, drugs, and gang affiliations. I felt disturbed that children in my developed country were in survival mode, yet moved by the courage and heart that many of the kids showed“ says Kelly “and in the character of Jimmy I found a moving dilemma”.

The film was shot just outside Wellington, in the Porirua City suburb of Cannons Creek. Casting Director, Yvette Reid, spent six months casting the film almost entirely from non-actors. Reid and Kelly scoured schools, supermarkets, boxing clubs and netball courts to audition over 300 people for the film. The lead role of 14 years old Jimmy was a challenging role to cast, needing both a tough exterior and emotional openness. After auditioning kids from Porirua and Wainuiomata schools, Waka Rowlands instantly stood out with his naturalism, belief in the situation, and emotional access. Waka’s performance as Jimmy has impressed New Zealand casting directors, and promises bigger things.

A highly successful veteran of the V48HRS short film challenge winning Best Film in Wellington for each of the three years he entered, Kelly was awarded New Zealand Young Filmmaker of the Year in 2010 by the Screen Producer’s and Director’s Association (SPADA). The impressive prize package involved free film stock, equipment hire, and post-production through Peter Jackson’s world class facility Park Road Post.

Together with LAMBS producer, Tom Hern, and an outstanding creative and technical team, Kelly harnessed the Fresh Shorts funding with the SPADA prize pack to deliver an exceptional level of storytelling and craft.

NZFC Short Film Manager Lisa Chatfield commented “Fresh Shorts was set up to support emerging film makers and give them a chance to make films at a level that can compete internationally. As one of the first Fresh Shorts to be finished it is a fantastic achievement for Sam and Tom to have their film attending Clermont this year.”

The 34th Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival 2012 runs between January 27th and February 4th 2012 – www.clermont-filmfest.com.

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