NZ shorts win two Spanish awards

[presss release from NZFC]

Jason Stutter’s short film Careful with that Axe and Roseanne Liang’s NZFC financed short film Take 3 were awarded the top prizes at the 53rd Semana Internacional de Cine de Valladolid (Valladolid International Film Festival) in Spain on Saturday.

Two minute short film Careful with that Axe was awarded the Golden Spike, the top prize for a short film in Official Selection. The prize for the Golden Spike short film winner is € 10,000.

In a parallel section to the Official Selection which is also competitive, Take 3 was awarded the Meeting Point Audience Award for Best Foreign Short, the top prize in this section. The Meeting Point Audience Award prize is €5,000.

“This is wonderful news for the filmmakers as Valladolid is one of Spain’s most prestigious festivals and it’s also one of Europe’s oldest. The festival is known for it’s willingness to take risks and innovate with its programming,” said Juliette Veber, Short Film Manager at the NZFC.

Careful with that Axe director Jason Stutter said, “Wahoo! That’s brilliant that Careful with that Axe won the Golden Spike! I originally made Careful with that Axe for something fun to do so it’s really only luck that it even made it into the market place!! I never expected it to do so well.”

Roseanne Liang, writer/director of Take 3, said, "I am completely over the moon about this award – and so very proud that New Zealand shorts had such a strong showing at the festival. I’m delighted that the award was decided by the audience at Valladolid – to discover that a film with such particular cultural specificities can connect with European audiences is immensely gratifying."

Produced by Owen Hughes, Take 3 is a comedy about three Asian actresses who transcend professional rivalry in one gleeful act of solidarity.

Take 3 had its world premiere at the prestigious 58th Berlin International Film Festival in the Generation 14 Plus section, where the film received an Honourable Mention. The film screened in the 2008 New Zealand International Film Festivals preceding the New Zealand feature film Apron Strings. Roseanne Liang directed the documentary feature Banana In A Nutshell in 2005.

Written, directed and produced by Jason Stutter, Careful with that Axe is a two minute short film about a young boy who tries his hand at chopping firewood with his father’s razor sharp axe. He find that the axe is incredibly heavy, so heavy that he balances himself by resting on bare foot on the chopping block…

Careful with that Axe has screened at many festivals including Official Sections of the 62nd Edinburgh International Film Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival and Expresion En Corto in Mexico. Jason Stutter is currently attending AFI Fest in Los Angeles where the film is selected for the shorts competition. Stutter’s first short film Fizz, starring Jemaine Clement, screened in competition at Valladolid in 2000.

A third NZFC funded short film Bridge also competed in the Official Section for Shorts at the 53rd Valladolid International Film Festival. Written and directed by Jochen Fitzherbert and produced by Zane Holmes and Ashley Stuart-Coupland, Bridge is a film about the lives of two lovers who are literally turned upside down. Jochen Fitzherbert and Zane Holmes are in attendance at the festival.