New gig for Andreef

Writer/director Christina Andreef has joined the New Zealand Film Commission as development executive.

In other appointments at the NZFC, Marc Ashton takes the newly created role of production executive and Diana Byrne has joined as talent development and relationships co-ordinator.

Andreef grew up in Whakatane and studied film in Ireland and Sydney, where she lived for 30 years. Her director training began when she worked for Jane Campion for five years, starting with Sweetie through to The Piano.

She wrote and directed three shorts, Excursion To The Bridge of Friendship, The Gap and Shooting The Breeze, before making her feature debut in 1999 on Soft Fruit, which screened in Critics’ Week in Cannes.

She was a partner in production company Toi-Toi Films for 16 years and taught screenwriting and direction at the Sydney Film School, Sydney University and UTS.

Ashton began his film career in the early 1990s at Hoyts Corp, involved in multiplex management and distribution across the east coast of Australia. He spent more than two decades in domestic and international film and television production; starting on the studio floor in a variety of technical crew roles.

His credits as 1st AD include Top of the Lake, Hope and Wire and Boy and his co-producer credits include The Lovely Bones and Terminus.

Both bring a broad base of experience and relationships to the NZFC to “support the goal of identifying strong ideas and supporting them to become great films,” the Commission said.

Byrne has been involved in the development, production, post-production and release of feature films locally and internationally for a decade, including as an executive assistant to director Andrew Adamson and producer Robin Scholes.

Three Kiwi films are screening at the Toronto International Film Festival. James Napier Robertson’s The Dark Horse, based on the true story of speed-chess champion Genesis Potini, will have its international premiere. In its fourth week of release the film has grossed more than $NZ1 million at the NZ B.O.

Directed by Toa Fraser, The Dead Lands (world premiere)  is the saga of a Māori chieftain's teenage son who must avenge his father's murder to bring peace and honour to the souls of his loved ones.

What We Do In The Shadows is a vampire mockumentary co-written and directed by Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, who play vampire flatmates.