Tag Archive for: new zealand opera

Congratulations Rebecca Tansley (DEGANZ) for winning the Special Mention Award for Extraordinary Artistic Achievement at the Golden Prague International Television Festival for her film The Strangest of Angels.

The Strangest of Angels is a chamber opera inspired by the life of author Janet Frame, which Rebecca directed and produced for the New Zealand Opera. It premiered earlier this year at NZIFF and received praise for its moving depiction of the imagined relationship between Janet and her fictional nurse, caught between duty and empathy.

The judges provided the following justification for the film’s win:

New Zealand film director Rebecca Tansley successfully transforms the chamber opera The Strangest of Angels into a film on location, raising doubts about who is sane and who isn‘t.

The festival showcases productions centered around music, dance, and theatre. Each year they award the Grand Prix Golden Prague, the Czech Crystal award for three categories, and the Special Mention for Extraordinary Artistic Achievement. Competition was tough this year, with 30-odd films in the running for the single Special Mention award of the night.

Rebecca shared with DEGANZ how excited she was to be part of the awards show, which was broadcast live in Czech. She said it was even more exciting when her name was called out!

DEGANZ member Rebecca Tansley‘s feature film The Strangest of Angels is heading overseas for the 60th Golden Prague International Television Festival. The film is in competition with other works centered around music, dance, and theatre as part of the festival’s annual showcase.

The Strangest of Angels is a chamber opera inspired by the life of Kiwi writer Janet Frame. While inpatient Janet waits for a lobotomy in a 1940s mental hospital, the film entangles viewers in the relationship between Janet and her fictional nurse, Katherine. While the women grapple with inner torment, duty, and empathy, the film explores preconceptions of mental health.

The film, which recently screened in Whānau Marama NZIFF, was directed and produced by Rebecca for the New Zealand Opera.

Best of luck to The Strangest of Angels team for the festival!

DEGANZ member Rebecca Tansley’s second film for the New Zealand Opera, The Strangest of Angels, is currently in pre-production. While her first film with NZO, Semele, was of the titular opera’s live performance, this new project will be filmed on location.

The Strangest of Angels is a new opera inspired by the life of internationally renowned New Zealand author Janet Frame. Set in Seacliff Mental Hospital in 1945, this story sheds light on mental health from the past and present. The story contrasts the experiences of a traumatised nurse torn between power and empathy with that of a calm, rational person trapped in the asylum.

Semele was well received internationally; Naxos/Opus Arte picked up the DVD rights, and audiences can stream it on Marquee TV.

Additionally, Rebecca’s narrative short film The Finding adds two more international festival selections to its list. It was screened in Vermont on 24 August at the 8th annual Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival, a festival dedicated to celebrating first or second-time filmmakers. The 14th annual Lady Filmmakers Festival, which celebrates women filmmakers, will feature the project in Los Angeles in September.

Congratulations, Rebecca! We wish you all the best for your upcoming project.

DEGANZ member Rebecca Tansley directed the New Zealand Opera film Semele, which opens in selected cinemas from 28 October.

Filmed live in Auckland’s Holy Trinity Cathedral, Rebecca had just one live performance to get the film right which required a lot of careful pre-production planning, including bringing camera operators into rehearsals.

Semele is a sensual love triangle between Jupiter, King of the Gods, his wife Juno, and his lover, the mortal princess Semele.

Although the film’s premiere was back in May in Auckland, this nationwide release enables New Zealand Opera to travel from major cities to the regions. Find out more information on the film and see if it’s screening near you.

Meanwhile, Rebecca’s short film The Finding has been selected for Montecatini International Short Film Festival in Italy, one of Europe’s longest running short film festivals. The film, written and directed by Rebecca, was shot on Kodak 16mm in Central Otago and Dunedin. In The Finding, a teenager’s efforts to reconnect with her estranged father forces them to confront a secret in their past.