New Zealand Embassy Berlin, Germany

New Zealand at the Berlinale 2012

CEO of New Zealand Film Commission Graeme Mason (left) and Ambassador Peter Rider (right)

Two New Zealand feature films made their world premieres at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival, the Berlinale: Maori Boy Genius, a documentary by Pietra Brettkelly about the childhood of Ngaa Rauuira Pumanawawhiti, a young Maori boy, screened on Monday 13th February; and Two Little Boys, a new film by brothers Robert and Duncan Sarkies staring Bret McKenzie and Hamish Blake screened on Tuesday 14th February at the House of World Cultures in Berlin. Three short films were also part of the selection from New Zealand: Lambs by Sam Kelly, Snow in Paradise by Justine Simei-Barton and Nikki Si’ulepa, and Meathead by Sam Holst.

All films were screened as part of the Generation section in the festival, and were in competition for the Crystal Bears. The films competed with 15 feature films and 17 short films from 23 countries. Sam Holst's short film Meathead was awarded a Crystal Bear for Best Short Film in the Generation 14plus section.

Prior to the premiere of Two Little Boys the New Zealand Ambassador Peter Rider hosted a reception for film industry representatives and contacts involved with New Zealand as Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair this year. Among the guests were Duncan Sarkies (author of the book and screen play for Two Little Boys), Graeme Mason (CEO of New Zealand Film Commission), Pietra Brettkelly and Ngaa Rauuira Pumanawawhiti (director and star of Maori Boy Genius) as well as well known director Taika Waititi, whose film Boy won the grand prize for the best feature film in the Generation section of the Berlinale in 2010.

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