Kiwi short to screen at Sundance

[press release from NZFC]

Katie Wolfe’s New Zealand short film THIS IS HER has been chosen to screen in competition at the 25th Sundance Film Festival, one of the most acclaimed international film festivals in the world. 

The selection follows a string of successes for the short film, which has recently screened at the 46th New York Film Festival, after having its North American premiere at the prestigious 35th Telluride Film Festival.

THIS IS HER won the Baudin-Woodside Valley Foundation for Best Short Film at the 2008 St Tropez Antipodes Film Festival in France and the Best Film Audience Award at the 2008 Prague International Short Film Festival in the Czech Republic.

“We absolutely delighted to have been selected for Sundance! It’s such an honour. It’s the festival we’ve all had our fingers crossed for,” says director Katie Wolfe.

“It’s interesting that a film that dispels the idea of fairy tale endings is resonating so strongly for U.S. audiences,” adds Wolfe. “The audience reaction to THIS IS HER is that it is funny, confronting, sad and hopeful, but above all a very real and recognisable story, which is a wonderful compliment.”

Written by Kate McDermott and directed by Katie Wolfe, THIS IS HER is a 12-minute black tale, about the bitter aftertaste of love. As she watches her younger self in the throes of childbirth, Evie’s devastatingly wry commentary reveals exactly what life has in store for her, her loving husband, and the 6-year-old, “bitch”, who will one day steal his affections and destroy her life.

“To me the banal is a beautiful metaphor for the stories I like to tell, which are the stories that we all have in common,” says Katie Wolfe, “They are the stories of everyday existence; in this case, of friendship, motherhood, and betrayal. The banal allows you to sit back and observe the small moments of life; to play with life’s absurdities”.

THIS IS HER is produced by Felicity Letcher and Rachel Lorimer who say that the, “selection for Sundance is a huge accolade to all those who contributed to the making of the film.”

THIS IS HER will screen before the UK feature film Unmade Bed. The Sundance Film Festival is the premiere showcase for U.S. and international independent film, held each January in and around Park City, Utah. This year the Festival’s Short Film Program comprises a record 96 short films from 5,632 submissions from U.S. and international filmmakers.

“It is indicative of the quality of the work that we programmed a record 96 films this year. The program is terrific from top to bottom, with a nice balance of different genres, tones and styles,” said Trevor Groth, Sundance Film Festival Senior Programmer.

The last NZFC funded short film to be selected for the Sundance Film Festival was Taika Waititi’s Tama Tu in 2005. His feature film Eagle vs Shark screened in official selection at Sundance in 2007.

Presenting approximately 120 dramatic and documentary feature-length films in seven distinct categories, the Sundance Film Festival has introduced American audiences to some of the most ground-breaking films of the past two decades, including sex lies and videotape, Maria Full of Grace, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, An Inconvenient Truth, Trouble the Water and Central Station.

THIS IS HER was funded by the Short Film Fund of the New Zealand Film Commission and the filmmakers will attend the festival with assistance from the NZFC. The film premiered at that Edinburgh International Film Festival earlier this year, and has screened at the New Zealand International Film Festival and the Melbourne International Film Festival.

The 25th Sundance Film Festival runs from January 15th to January 25th, 2009, for more information see