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Bumper Year for NZ Films at International Film Festival

25 April will screen in competition at the highly regarded Annecy International Animation Film Festival in June. It will join eight other films in the competition line-up, only one of which is also a documentary.

Still from '25 April' is courtesy of the New Zealand Film Commission.

Directed by Leanne Pooley and produced by Matthew Metcalfe, with animation by Auckland’s Flux Animation Studios, 25 April tells the story of Gallipoli through the letters and diaries of some of those who served in the campaign.

25 April premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2015 and had its New Zealand premiere in Gore on 24 April 2016. The New Zealand theatrical release begins on 28 April after a series of select screenings across the country on ANZAC Day. The film is being distributed in New Zealand by Transmission Films.

"I’m incredibly proud that the world’s most prestigious animation festival has recognized 25 April,” says director Leanne Pooley. “Annecy features amazing work from around the world including multi-million dollar Hollywood productions and it is a real testament to the talent of our home-grown animators that we are competing with the best.”

Alongside 25 April, James Cunningham’s Accidents, Blunders and Calamities screens in the Short Film Competition section. Written, directed and produced by Cunningham, in partnership with the Class of 2015 Media Design School, the film is a black comedy for kids and parents alike.

Another New Zealand short film, Spring Jam from Wellington-based animation studio ONEEDO also screens In Official Selection. Directed by Ned Wenlock and produced by Georgiana Plaister, Spring Jam tells the tale of a young stag who, lacking impressive antlers, knows he needs to improvise sweet music if he's to have any chance during the mating season.

Pooley and Metcalfe will be joined at the festival by Flux Animation Studios Founder/Creative Director, Brent Chambers and Producer, Sue Chambers. Cunningham, Wenlock and Plaister will attend the festival with the support of the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) to promote their short films and develop relationships for proposed feature films. A New Zealand industry delegation, led by the NZFC, will also attend Annecy to promote the New Zealand animation industry and encourage further collaboration.

The Annecy International Animation Film Festival has been running for over fifty years and in 2016, over 2,600 animated shorts and features from around the world were submitted to the festival which selects around 200 films annually. The International Animation Film Market (MIFA) runs alongside the festival and has become the animation industry’s foremost showcase for the co-production, purchase, sales, finance and distribution of animation content across all broadcasting platforms.

The Annecy International Animation Festival runs 13-18 June.


Updated on 2nd May 2016