Welcome to our June newsletter
Our Regular submission deadline has now passed. Thanks to all of you who submitted shows. Our selectors are now looking forward to many hours of happy viewing.
If you meant to submit but missed the deadline, it sucks to be you – but not as much as it might. This week, we’re offering a discount for newsletter subscribers only. Use the code WINTERISHERE until 23:59 on Saturday 8 June to chop 25% off our submission fees at FilmFreeway.
Although we’re less than halfway through 2019, NZ web series have now racked up more selections at international festivals (excluding NZ Web Fest) than they did during the whole of last year. So, huge congrats to each and every one of the shows contributing to that achievement.
Over the Sea
May was a busy, busy month on the international festival front.
As usual, Cannes hogged the headlines fpr both good and less than good reasons. Meanwhile, the inaugural editions of the web fests in Apulia and Cote d’Azur (also in Cannes) had their first outings. Two NZ projects picked up awards at Apulia; Danny Phillips’ indie feature No Turning Back took the Best Feature Award, and the LGBTQ Rights Award went to Sui Generis: NZ.
The successful conclusions of our partner festivals, Apulia and Miami, have revealed the next two shows receiving direct selection for #NZWF19. We’re looking forward to sharing A-Live and NarcoLeap with everybody in November.
Elsewhere in Miami, at the Miami Indie Film Festival, Millennial Jenny picked up the Best Web Series award, and will shortly unveil new eps on Instagram. Elsewhere in the US, at the LA Film Awards, Equity president Jennifer Ward Lealand won the Best Actress award for her role in Vermilio. The film also took the Best Ensemble award for a cast which includes #NZWF16 winner Fasitua Amosa.
Several festivals unveiled their 2019 selections during May. An enormous eight NZ shows (Alibi, Ao-Terror-oa, Crips in Cars, Jessica’s Tree, Misadventures, Subject: Dad, Sui Generis: NZ and Weaving Rainbows) will head to Melbourne Web Fest. AFK, Life in the Dead Zone, Sui Generis: NZ and The Watercooler (top image) are named for Sicily. Five shows (AFK, Alibi, Jessica’s Tree, Sui Generis: NZ and The Watercooler) will go to Toronto.
Eight Loading Docs titles will play the UK’s Sheffield Doc Fest from Thursday.
Over the weekend, Seoul WebFest has also announced its 2019 line-up. AFK, Jessica’s Tree, Life in the Dead Zone, Touch Wood and The Watercooler join The Adventures of Suzy Boon, the winner of Seoul’s Direct Selection from #NZWF18. Last week Suzy Boon herself, Kura Forrester, took out the Billy T Award at the just-concluded Comedy Festival, where her new show Kura Shoulda Woulda picked up excellent reviews.
Giving plenty of notice, the line-up for September’s Copenhagen Web Fest is also announced, with Jessica’s Tree and The Watercooler to fly the flag for NZ. We look forward to seeing the line-ups for the Minnesota Web Fest, Realist Web Fest and Stareable Fest later this month. Life in the Dead Zone is already confirmed for Stareable, as the winner of the Direct Selection award at #NZWF18.
Among the winners at the Doc Edge Awards on Friday evening was Marks of Mana from Lisa Taouma, whose shows for Coconet.tv have picked up selections, nominations and gongs at NZ Web Fest over the years. Doc Edge Festival runs until this Sunday (9 June) in Auckland, and then 13 – 23 June in Wellington.
Among the projects at the Doc Edge Forum in Auckland was doco Kaimanawa, pitched by Jenny Gao and Mia Maramara, a finalist at #NZWF18 with Foodie. Although their pitch didn’t win, on the same day Mia was named one of those supported by the NZ Writers Guild’s Seed grants. The award was for horror script Grafted, written with Ao-terror-oa creator Hweiling Ow. Read Aimee Jones Watson’s recent interview with Mia here.
Picking up funding recently has been Flat 3 Productions, which received production support for series Creamerie from NZ On Air. The agency first supported the show under its Diverse Development initiative in 2017. Flat 3 was a finalist at our inaugural event in 2015. In 2017 Flat 3’s Friday Night Bites was a joint winner of our Best Ensemble Award (with The Maori Side Steps).
NZ On Air has also announced support for three projects to mark Tuia 250, the commemoration of 250 years since “the first sustained onshore meetings between Māori and Europeans”. Projects supported are Tawera Productions’ series Waka, TVNZ’s Re: discovering Aotearoa and NZ Herald web series White Guilt.
The team behind our 2018 Best Web Series winner, Alibi, has also picked up development funding for a new series. Rockburn is one of 10 projects supported into the NZFC-NZ On Air-Script to Screen Series Drama Lab, out of which four projects will get further development funding.
Wrap Your Eyeballs Around
Appropriately, as Doc Edge has just opened, a couple of this month’s recommendations are factual shows. All three shows below are staggering the release of eps over time, so they’ll keep on giving for a while yet.
From Lebanon, season 4 of Zyara has begun its release. Season 2 swept the (admittedly small) board of International Factual honours at #NZWF17. It was also immensely successful on the festival circuit, becoming the highest-ranked doco of that year’s Web Series World Cup. Here is the season 4 trailer. New eps drop late Saturday/early Sunday NZ time.
From much closer to home, Top Shelf’s K Road Chronicles is also rolling out at present. The second web series in recent years to be set on the iconic street, K Road Chronicles is a factual anthology, as opposed to the fictional and apocryphal tales told in K Rd Stories.
Season 2 of Ahikāroa is also under way. For convenience, Māori TV has repackaged season 1 of the show into 30-minute eps, making catch-up a much more user-friendly experience. Season 2, the ongoing trials and tribulations of Smooch, Hemi and Geo, is rolling out its eps every Sunday lunchtime.
Do check out our calendar for upcoming application and submission deadlines, festivals, and NZ industry events.
Our own Late Submission Deadline arrives at the end of July, but don’t forget to use the code WINTERISHERE this week (until 23:59 on Saturday 8 June) to chop 25% off our submission fees at FilmFreeway.
Another deadline hitting this week is the cheap-as-chips early bird deadline for the inaugural edition of the Sydney Web Fest. Sydney reserves some of its awards for LGBTQ+ and female-led shows.
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Published on 4 June