Two short films EP’d through Tauihu Shorts have had recent festival success with Dylan Pharazyn’s The Keeper getting into the Valladolid International Film Festival, and Inorganic, directed by Maria Elena Doyle gaining entry to the Filmlets Badalona Film Festival.
Mathew Saville’s Dive, which was recently completed has started its festival rounds.
Our final film Premiere Shorts short film Ride, directed by Karyn Childs, is in the final stages of completion with delivery expected shortly.
A rugged, windswept bush-clad island in the Cook Strait, New Zealand, 1900. Joseph is a young lighthouse keeper struggling to wrench a life for his pregnant wife and young boy in the harsh environment. They have run out of conventional fuel for the light; they will lose their livelihood if the light fails. The family resorts to rendering fuel from bird fat, which requires slaughtering hundreds of the island’s birds, and boiling them up in an iron ‘digestor’. In the embers of the forest burn-off (to flush the birds out), his boy discovers a large mysterious egg.
Joseph’s wife has trouble with the baby and she and the boy are emergency evacuated to the mainland. Isolated and sleep deprived by his lighthouse keeping duty, Joseph keeps the light burning for their safe transport. He struggles to keep awake. Meanwhile the egg grows bigger and bigger. In a storm, a creature hatches. He is wary, but intoxicated by the exotic creature, Ava.
Hunched by the lantern, with no fuel left and at his wit’s end, Joseph is approached by Ava. She lulls him into using blood dripping from her cut palm as lantern fuel. Beguiled by the ensuing glow he falls — finally — into a deep sleep, and neglects the light. Darkness comes.
When Sam’s father dies on inorganic garbage collection day, Sam considers it an opportune time to clear out all the old stuff from his father’s house. The old stuff also includes dear old Dad. The only problem is that Dad is organic and the rubbish collector’s refusal to take him reveals the values of this near future consumerist-gone-mad society. When the garbage collectors discover there is money to be made in used body parts they decide to make an exception. In that moment Sam realises there is a more traditional and lucrative way to d ispose of the body. He plants an “Inorganic Vegetable Garden” which becomes a unique selling point for the estate.
A year after the death of the love of his life, George has hit rock bottom. He’s disheveled, living in squalor and lacking hygiene. He can’t even hang himself properly. He’s in such a sorry state that this morning, in the bathroom, George discovers that his reflection has turned its back on him. Following a frustrating attempt to trick it into turning around, George angrily throws a cup at the mirror, which then smashes, revealing a portal to a mysterious dark water void.
Suited up in old diving gear, George enters the portal and traverses the abyss in search of himself. When he emerges back in the bathroom with his reflection in tow, a clumsy fight ensues between the two flabby men, coming to an abrupt end when George gives his reflection a swift swipe to the face with a dirty toilet brush. Face to face with what he has become, George’s reflection gives him just the push he needs to confront his wife’s death and begin to deal with his grief.
‘Ride’ is a contemporary adventure with themes of loss, redemption and forgiveness.
When Ryan picks up Jade, who is stranded on the roadside on her way to a funeral with the coffin, it becomes apparent these two have a shared history. A dangerous incident occurs as they take a short cut road, compelling Ryan into action not only to save a life, but to potentially resolve the past.
Tauihu Shorts is a New Zealand Film Commission Executive Producer POD run by Tauihu Media under the high-end Premiere Shorts programme. It is contracted to select and oversee the production of four short films from 2010 – 2012. Each short has an allocated budget of NZ$90,000 The Tauihu Shorts executive producers are Poata Eruera, Brad Haami and Tui Ruwhiu.
You can learn more about the Valladolid International Film Festival here, and teh Filmets Badalona Film Festival here.