The 75th Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) is featuring multiple members’ mahi this year! The festival runs from 12-20 August and will screen five NZ projects across various programmes.

Member Michelle Savill’s Millie Lies Low and Matthew Saville’s Juniper, edited by member Peter Roberts, are making their UK premiere in the festival’s Heartbreakers programme. They will appear alongside other films exploring the fraught relationships of friends, family, lovers, and cheaters.

Meanwhile, Nude Tuesday, directed by DEGANZ member Armagan Ballantyne, and feature film Whina will celebrate their European debuts. Nude Tuesday, a literally gibberish film devised by Armagan and fellow DEGANZ member Jackie van Beek, is set to screen as the Central Gala film.

Additionally, the festival’s New Shorts: On Leaving programme will feature member Mīria George’s short film fire in the water, fire in the sky. This strand features stories about migration, from the anticipation of leaving and journeying to the physical and psychological consequences after the move.

Both Armagan and Michelle will attend the festival with the support of NZFC and the EIFF, respectively.

We are excited to see these Kiwi films achieving international recognition in their festival rounds. Congratulations to Michelle, Peter, Armagan, Jackie and Mīria!

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The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) has chosen DEGANZ member Mīria George’s short film fire in the water, fire in the sky for its 2022 programme. While a few Kiwi feature films will be screening during the festival – Nude Tuesday, Whina, Millie Lies Low and Juniper – this is the only short featured from Aotearoa.

The film follows polar opposite sisters, Tia and Ina, as they perceive and experience the world differently. It makes a bold cautionary statement about climate change and its impact on migration and the Pacific Islands. This story, which seamlessly blends dance and film, is told in both Cook Islands Māori and English.

Mīrira originally developed the script for theatre in 2017 as part of the Fulbright Creative New Zealand Pacific Writers Residency. Then, Tawata Productions picked it up upon her return to Aotearoa after spending three months developing the performance installation at the University of Hawai’i.

The film received special recognition for cinematography from NZIFF in 2021. Last year, it also made the rounds of the Hawai’i International Film Festival and Pollywood Pasifika Film Festival. This year, it screened at LA Asian Pacific Film Festival, Wairoa Film Festival, and Māoriland Film Festival.

Congratulations to Mīria and the cast and crew for your UK premiere!

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DEGANZ member Curtis Vowell is currently directing Seize Them!, a British comedy financed by Entertainment Film Distributors, which will handle the UK and Ireland release. According to Collider, the movie has begun principal photography in London and will take six weeks to shoot in Kent and Wales.

Starring Amiee Lou Wood (Sex Education), Loffy Adefope (Shrills), Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz) and Nicola Coughlan (Bridgerton), the comedy is set in the dark ages and follows Queen Dagan as she is toppled by a revolution led by Humble Joan. Queen Dagan must face up to hardship and danger to win her kingdom back.

Curtis adds Seize Them! to his directorial filmography, alongside New Zealand movies Baby Done and micro-budget feature Fantail.

Mystic, a family action adventure series, has been given the greenlight for two more seasons by CBBC (UK) and TVNZ. It will be produced by DEGNZ member David Stubbs in NZ and Jen Burnet in the UK.

A joint production between Libertine Pictures (NZ) and Slim Film + Television (UK), the series follows teenager Issie Brown and her recently developed friendships with teen horse riders, as well as their efforts to save her new home by people that threaten it. Issie also begins to receive confusing visions of the future from ghost horse Mystic.

Created for television and written by Amy Shindler and Beth Chalmers (Pat & Cabbage for ITV, My Family for BBC One, Threesome for Comedy Central and Horrible Histories for CBBC), they will be joined by Kiwi writers Sam Shore (The Sounds, Filthy Rich), Martha Hardy-Ward (Ellen is Leaving), Hamish Bennett (Bellbird) and Briar Grace-Smith (Cousins, Waru).

Production on the new seasons begins on May 31 in New Zealand. There is no release date yet but the first season of Mystic is available on TVNZ OnDemand.