Tauihu Media slate project Bara, a feature film written by Anna Nuria Francino, has been selected for the Blacklist New Zealand Project (BLNZP), a joint initiative between the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) and the L.A.-based Blacklist, founded by Franklin Leonard.
The BLNZP is a one-off fund, designed to help promote relationships between writers and producers and create international opportunities for New Zealand feature films.
Starting in June, Francino and Tauihu Media producer Tui Ruwhiu will go through a four-week workshop and mentorship series with global screen industry executives who will head up panels, mentor the team and advise them on fine-tuning the script.
Bara was one of six projects selected from 179 applications in this partnership between NZFC and Blacklist.
As part of their selection, the team will receive a $25,000 grant to go towards the next draft of Bara.
Bara has been on Tauihu Media’s development slate for close to three years, coming to the company following success at the 2015 NZ Writers’ Guild Award for best unproduced feature as a co-written script by Francino and actor Siobhan Marshall, who moved to L.A. to pursue her acting career. The project has gone through intense and significant development with Francino and script consultants Emily Anderton and Stephen Cleary.
When her mother and sole witness to her existence ends up comatose, a mute recluse must brave the outside world to unlock her voice and save them both from a life unlived.
WRITER: ANNA NURIA FRANCINO
A graduate from Unitec with a Bachelor of Performing & Screen Arts, Acting major, Anna also worked in arts administration before going on to stage manage plays including Shane Bosher’s Angels in America, and Toa Fraser’s Pure and Deep. She remains ever grateful for untold weeks spent investigating story and character. In 2012, Anna entered Auckland’s Short + Sweet Festival. The play she directed won Best Newcomer, Best Actress, and Best Overall Production.
Anna has penned dialogue for New Zealand’s longest-running serial drama, Shortland Street, since 2015. She also works as a storyliner for the show. Her first (originally co-written) screenplay, BARA, won NZWG’s 2015 Best Unproduced Feature Film Script and was later awarded a NZWG Seed Grant. Thanks to consequent support from NZFC’s Early Development Fund, Anna took the reins as BARA’s sole writer, resulting in a massive reinvention that benefited from sessions with script consultants Emily Anderton and Stephen Cleary.
PRODUCER: TUI RUWHIU
Tui Ruwhiu (Ngāpuhi) is an EAVE Producers Workshop, NZFC A-to-Z Producers Workshop and Rotterdam Producers Lab alumnus with over 20 years in the screen industry as a writer, director, producer and executive producer in entertainment and news programming. With a background line producing TV commercials, he turned his focus to film and drama, becoming an EP on the NZFC’s devolved Premium Shorts fund, with film successes including at Telluride and Palm Springs. His first produced short was chosen for festivals including Hawaii IFF and imagineNATIVE. Feature projects on Tui’s slate were selected for the Beijing International Film Fest’s International Co-production Pitch and Catch and IFP’s No Borders Co-pro Market. His first TV drama series in development was chosen for the Berlinale’s Copro Series Coproduction Market. During his eleven years in Japan Tui graduated from Tokyo’s Sendagaya Japanese Language Institute, where he spent three years studying written and spoken Japanese.