DEGNZ member Celia Jaspers’s short film Milk has made official selection in the Oscar-qualifying LA Shorts International Film Festival this month, one of only 12 films selected from Australasia.

The short film, made on a zero budget with an outpouring of generosity and kindness, follows a story of a young girl who foregoes her hard-earned treats at the local dairy to help an elderly gentleman. Celia said the idea for the film was born post-lockdown, when a heightened awareness of our communities and being kind was prevalent.

Written, directed and edited by Celia, Milk stars her daughter Charlotte Jaspers, local cafe worker Christy Anne Sullivan and veteran actor Frank Edwards (LOTR, The Hobbit). The short film has 12 international festivals under its belt and has picked up Best Film at the Reale Film Festival in Italy. Charlotte picked up Best Actress finalist at the Golden Short Film Festival in Italy, and the top acting honours at the Nenagh Children’s Film Festival in Ireland.

In an interview with Stuff, Celia speaks about how grateful she was for all the support received to make this micro short, and how proud she is of the fact that the film’s production was led by a team of working mums.

Milk will have its US Premiere at LA Shorts Fest on July 12.

Last updated on 30 June 2021

Vista Foundation & Home and Family Counselling logos

The Vista Foundation’s subsidised counselling offer provided for the screen industry in partnership with Home and Family Counselling will be closed effective on Friday 30 July 2021.

Vista Foundation has subsidised 206 hours of professional counselling since the offer began in May 2020, with five hours of counselling provided in the last 2-3 months.

Foundation trustee Christine Fenby said, “The industry has picked up considerably and we’re pleased to say that the need for the counselling sessions has diminished, which we all hope is a positive sign and an accurate one.”

Until July 30, the offer remains available to members of DEGNZ and other screen industry organisations and their whānau. Learn more

Last updated on 30 June 2021

The Aotearoa box-office hit Cousins will release in select theatres in the US on July 2, after being picked up by Array Releasing, the distribution arm of Ava DuVernay’s Array collective.

Edited by DEGNZ member Alex Boyd, the film debuted at number one at the box office and quickly became a local hit, earning $1.6 million. The president of Array, Tilane Jones, spoke to Deadline about the acquisition, stating how inspired they were to bring this powerful film to audiences across the globe, a “beautiful story exploring identity, culture and family that goes beyond borders and time”.

Cousins will also stream on Netflix (US) from July 22.

Last updated on 30 June 2021

Members stopping work to take parental leave can contact the National Office to receive six months of free Parental Leave Membership. Members on parental leave shall continue to receive Guild communications but their access to other membership benefits will be paused until they are financial again.

i. For members on Annual Billing who have already paid their annual subscription, their remaining membership period will be pro-rated and credited as an extension when they return.

ii. Members on Monthly Billing who are part-way through their annual commitment may contact the National Office to switch to Parental Leave Membership and terminate their current term.

Please contact us if you have recently had a child or have a baby on the way to enquire about DEGNZ Parental Leave Membership.

Last updated on 30 June 2021

Member Rob Sarkies, director of the 2006 film Out of the Blue, which told the story of the 1990 Aramoana massacre, sat down with RNZ’s The Detail to discuss the delicate nature of filming a real-life tragedy.

The important discussion surrounding portraying a real-life tragedy was brought to the forefront, after news broke that Hollywood producers were planning a film around the March 15 terror attacks in Christchurch.

Films like these wrestle with similar questions, who should make it? Who has the right to make it? What story will actually be told and whether it’s too soon. Rob acknowledges that there is no easy answer. On his own experience making Out of the Blue, Rob said:

“I felt that, if it was to be made, it needed to be made responsibly. It needed to be made by someone who could have empathy, and basically do it right. And I felt, being from Dunedin and having some concerns about how that story might be told in the wrong hands, I trusted myself to tell it. I took on the responsibility.”

Members of the Aramoana community worked closely with the production.

As a storyteller, Rob feels that storytelling can help a nation collectively process a tragic event. There is healing power in storytelling.

Have a listen to or read the discussion here.

Last updated on 30 June 2021