Record entries make Top of the South Film Festival ‘biggest yet’

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Record entries make Top of the South Film Festival ‘biggest yet’

Actor and co-director Doug Brooks stars in Aaron Falvey’s latest film, Father Between, which will be screened at the Top of the South Film Festival.

From humble beginnings, a small regional film festival is bigger than ever after it attracted record entries.

The Top of the South Film Festival is in its fourth year and, with 26 submissions, is set to enjoy its biggest year yet.

And in a bid to help foster talent even further afield, organisers have revealed a special screening will be held in Kaikōura for the first time.

The Top of the South Film Festival attracted a wealth of talent and, from left, film maker, Phil McKinnon, photographer Matt Croad and director Aaron Falvey hope 2018 will be even better.

Festival director and president of the Top of the South Film Production Society Aaron Falvey, who started the festival in 2015 alongside film-maker Phil McKinnon, said he was delighted to see the boost in entries.

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He hoped by holding a gold-screening premiere in Kaikōura, budding film makers elsewhere would get the chance to join in, he said.

Young filmmakers Tyler Redmond, left, and Solomon Panoho who both had films selected for Top of the South Film Festival in 2017. Photo by Scott Hammond.

“We were contacted by a filmmaker there who is pretty much on his own ​as he doesn’t have other individuals to tap into for help and advice.

“It would be great to unearth others in the area while raising the festival’s profile at the same time.

“It’s been a huge year of film making and I have a feeling this year will be a great one,” he said.

A red carpet screening will be held at the Kaikōura Museum with all proceeds going towards the rebuild of the earthquake-damaged Mayfair Theatre.

The building was damaged in the November 2016 earthquake and while the art deco facade had largely survived intact, the theatre sustained a lot of damage inside.

Falvey, who has two films selected for Blenheim’s gold-screening said it “just made sense”, to try and help out.

“It’s nice the film festival is expanding and this way we can give back to the community too,” he said.

In 2017 the Top of the South Film Festival raised $7135 with proceeds going back into the Top of the South Film Production Society to help members make more films.

An independent panel of judges selected films to go forward to be screened in either the gold or silver categories with the submissions up by seven on last year.

Falvey said for the first time this year there would also be a screening of “near misses”.

The event will also include a matinee of the screening of the popular Dragoon Universe series of films, which features a post-apocalyptic world dealing with the fate of humanity.

“There is a lot of talent here,” said Falvey.

Gold Reel screenings take place in Blenheim on Saturday October 6 at the ASB Theatre in Blenheim, on Saturday November 10 in Kaikōura and Silver on Friday September 14 and Saturday September 15 at the Suter Theatre in Nelson.

The Marlborough Express

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