A short film about New Zealand has given one young film-maker his ‘Big Break’.
The film ‘Working Day’ by Andres Borghi from Argentina was selected by New Zealand film legend Sir Peter Jackson as the winner of Tourism New Zealand’s 100% Pure ‘Your Big Break’ short film competition.
The winner has just been announced in the US, with the film screened to viewers of the 25th Film Independent Spirit Awards, the premier independent film event in the US.
Andres Borghi was one of five finalists in the short film competition that travelled to Queenstown last month to direct their films alongside Lord of the Rings producer Barrie Osborne.
Sir Peter Jackson said: “The standard of all five films was very high. Any of them deserved to win, but it came down to personal choice. [Working Day] stood out as a fresh and original piece of storytelling. This was an extremely accomplished piece and I will definitely be keeping an eye out for Andres’ future work.”
“100% Pure New Zealand jump started my work and career,” says Andres Borghi, who also acted in his film. “I also thank Peter and Barrie for helping me polish my work and gain international exposure.”
Borghi and the other finalists – two Americans and two New Zealanders – were selected from a pool of over 1,000 screenplays submitted between 9 December 2009 and 15 January 2010.
Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler said interest in the competition exceeded expectations, with the competition website – www.your-big-break.com – attracting 18,000 votes and 2.5 million video views in the first phase of the competition.
“This campaign has generated a huge amount of interest from the film community both here and internationally, and was extremely successful in terms of both the number of entries received and website views.
“The involvement of industry heavy-weights Sir Peter Jackson and Barrie Osborne helped attract attention in the US, which can be a challenging market to get our 100% Pure New Zealand message across in.
“This competition has not just created ‘talkability’ around New Zealand, it has also given us five excellent short films that capture New Zealand’s scenery, our people and culture which will be seen around the world.”
The five winning films were shown on the Independent Film Channel (IFC) and to around 1,800 celebrities, media and film industry professionals in the 100% Pure New Zealand lounge at the Spirit Awards ceremony.
Television advertising on IFC and Sundance over the last month has helped drive awareness of the competition, and is expected to increase viewership of the Spirit Awards and the winning film.
Engagement through social media websites has also been strong, with over 1,400 fans following developments through Facebook and the ‘Your Big Break’ blog.
A follow-up online campaign will run from Monday 8 March, encouraging film-lovers to book their New Zealand holiday now.