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12:36 The Screen Sector Recovery Package - who wins?

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Photo: supplied

This week the Government acknowledged the importance of the screen industry to New Zealand - feature films, local and international...  television series for home and overseas audiences...  as well as short films, web-series and many others.   They've all been affected by the Covid 19 lockdowns and so welcome the Screen Sector Recovery Package announced on Wednesday by Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Carmel Sepuloni.

The package will be managed by the New Zealand Film Commission, despite the fact that a big majority of people affected are working for television, or big-budget overseas projects like Avatar, Lord of the Rings and Jane Campion's The Power of the Dog.

The package totals 15.4 million dollars.  2 million goes towards "meeting the challenge of a Post-Covid Environment".  13.4 milion supports productions that had to shut down by the virus.  

There is also a separate $50M fund to be managed in partnership with NZ On Air to fund New Zealand feature films and series drama.

So where does the money go, and what's its purpose - seed money for a multi-billion dollar industry or top-up for a "nice to have" feelgood arts project?  Business or pleasure, in other words?

We're joined by a pretty high-powered panel representing a wide range of interests.

From the New Zealand Film Commission, Leanne Saunders, Head of Development and Production, and Philippa Mossman, Head of International Screen Attractions.   On the line is one of our most successful film producers Matthew Metcalfe, of Dean Spanley and McLaren fame.  In Auckland, we have Kelly Martin from our top producers of TV and film, SPP, who make Shortland Street and The Brokenwood Mysteries, and here in Wellington, Amie Mills Head of Funding from New Zealand On Air.  


1:10 At The Movies

Simon Morris previews the New Zealand International Film, Festival with the help of Festival director Marten Rabarts.

1:35  Lisa Reihana and James Pinker return home

Video Artist Lisa Reihana had just opened one of her biggest commissions for the famous shoemaker Christian Louboutin, when Covid-19 shut it down and her other 5 shows on show around the world.

Lisa and her partner and collaborator James Pinker are back home after three years of constant travelling that started with her best known work, The Pursuit of Venus (infected) that represented New Zealand at the 2017 Venice Biennale.

That large scale video reflecting on colonization is still in demand with international curators, and in fact had just opened in Germany and Holland when the pandemic struck.

Lisa had also been at the opening of the Louboutin exhibition, where an intense two year collaboration on a video biography of the French designer was finally revealed. 

Lynn Freeman caught up with Lisa and James a few days ago at the end of a road trip.  They'd  been expecting to finally have a break at home in April, but that's now extended:

Lisa says despite all the hard work involved, they're philosophical about their shows and other future opportunities being impacted by the pandemic to some degree.


2:06 The Laugh Track - Sananda Chatterjee

Sananda Chatterjee

Sananda Chatterjee Photo: supplied by ATC

The rise of Asian New Zealand theatre, movies and comedy is something we're always very keen to push along.  After all we don't want to fall behind the rest of the world, where Indian-led projects are big news in both the UK and the US.   

In fact our biggest TV series The Luminaries boasted a South Asian lead, Himesh Patel, of Yesterday fame.  Well all right, technically he's from Cambridgeshire in England, but let's not get technical. 

All this is a way of introducing today's Laugh Track guest.  Sananda Chatterjee is a mainstay of Indian/New Zealand theatre company Prayas.  She's also a directing intern for the ATC on a big musical called Hedwig and the angry inch.   

Sandy's all South Asian picks include Kaneez Surka, Sindhu Vee, Hasan Minaj, Nish Kumar withand Rachael Parris.


2:25  Four New Zealand women composers tackle a new project

Hannah Darroch and Andrew Crooks

Hannah Darroch and Andrew Crooks Photo: credit Dan Cook

On Standing Room Only we've spoken to Creative New Zealand about its Covid-19 pivot so it could get emergency grants out quickly to artists.  Now we are hearing from some of the successful applicants, to find out about their big plans.

Today it's a project that involves the commissioning of four New Zealand women composers to create miniature, 3-minute works.

It's the first time that a NZ commissioning project has involved a collective of all-women, new-generation

And It's the brainchild of flutist Hannah Darroch and pianist Andrew Crooks who've already started recording the compositions.

They are both usually based overseas. Hannah tells Lynn Freeman she had a heap of  projects planned back home, until Covid-19 wrecked them.

2:37 Lil O'Brien's teenage years become a coming-out memoir

Lil O'Brien

Lil O'Brien Photo: Troy Goodall

After telling her coming-out story numerous times to high schoolers Lil O'Brien decided to write the full and often painful story in a memoir.

The Auckland freelance copywriter felt the time was right to share the intense and confusing teenage years she experienced trying to figure out her sexuality, and face the serious consequences when her parents found out before she had a chance to tell them.

Lil reads from Not That I'd Kiss a Girl, from the part focused on her university years.

Not that I'd Kiss a Girl by Lil O'Brien is published by Allen & Unwin

2:49  A real Number Eight Wire art award!

A two metre high Space Cow that references life, death, DNA and Spanish artist Salvador Dali's famous Space Elephant has won this year's Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award.

Napier artist Asaki Kajima  won the award for the hanging installation that's taller than she is and made almost entirely out of...well...number 8 wire. 

The annual art award usually coincides with Hamilton's agricultural Fieldays event, but while that was cancelled, the art awards must go on.

Lynn Freeman spoke to Asaki Kajima and to the judge who was enchanted by her number 8 wire Space Cow, sculptor James Wright:

The exhibition of finalist artworks runs at ArtsPost in Hamilton from 3 July to 3 August.  

3:06 Drama at 3 - The Good Seed by Stephen George Walker

Today's play is a tongue in cheek look at the clash between multi-national corporations and convervationists.  

The cast includes Jean Betts, Jacob Rajan, Kate Harcourt and Bruce Phillips.

Music played in this show

Artist: Beatles
Song: 8 days a week
Composer: Lennon-McCartney
Album: Beatles for sale
Label: Parlophone
Played at: 12.30

Artist: Bobby Darin
Song: 18 yellow roses
Composer:  Darin 
Album:  Greatest Hits
Label: Curb
Played at: 1.07

Artist: Jackie Brenston
Song: Rocket 88
Composer: Brenston
Album: The First Rock'n'roll Record
Label:  Famous flames
Played at: 1.58

Artist: The Nails
Song: 88 lines about 44 women
Composer: Kaufman-Campbell
Album: Living in Oblivion
Label: EMI
Played at: 2.04

Artist: Lauren Alaina
Song: 18 inches
Composer: Gorley, Lovelace, Underwood
Album: Wildflower
Label: Mercury
Played at: 2.36

Artist: Howard Tate
Song: 8 days on the road
Composer: Gaykle-Ragavoy
Album: Howard Tate
Label: Atlantic
Played at: 2.58

Artist: Ella Fitzgerald
Song: Beat me Daddy 8 to the bar
Composer: Raye-Prince
Album: 16 classic albums
Label: Real Gone
Played at: 2.04

Artist: Rosanne Cash
Song: 8 gods of Harlem
Composer: Cash-Costello-Kristofferson
Album: She remembers Everything
Label: Blue Note
Played at: 2.58