New Zealand short film wins award.

May 26, 2010 by J-Wire
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Kiwi short movie ‘Communication’, a story about a gay Jewish student, has won an international award.

New Zealand-made short film “Communication” has this week been named Outstanding Short Film in the 2010 QBliss GLBTIA Creating Change Community Awards; a US-based organisation recognising gay, lesbian and transgender individuals and works that reflect positive images and messages and promote inclusion and tolerance.

“Communication” tells the thought-provoking story of Jacob, a young gay Jewish student troubled by his feelings for a university mentor – a man nearly three times his age. New Zealand viewers will get to see the film at the Out Takes Film Festival in Auckland and Wellington.

The movie’s director, Christopher Banks, told J-Wire: “Jacob’s religion is very significant to the story, he’s from an Orthodox family and has a great respect and reverence for his faith and culture, aspects of which put him in direct conflict with the feelings he has for other men.  The story begins with Jacob finding out about the death of his old university tutor Andrew, who has surprisingly left Jacob all his property. Devastated and confused as to why he has been left this legacy, he returns to Andrew’s house to sit shivah and think back over the time they spent together.  As he wanders from room to empty room, a flood of memories from return to haunt him, leading to a final confrontation which forces Jacob to accept a painful truth about their relationship, and himself.

We’re proud to be part of a new wave of recent films which have explored issues around Judaism and homosexuality, such as the Israeli drama “Eyes Wide Open” and the documentary “Trembling Before G-d”, and hope to contribute further to a dialogue of acceptance and understanding for GLBT men and women in Jewish communities around the world.”

“To receive international recognition is a great feeling, but to win this award, amazing!” says ‘Communication’ producer Andy Jalfon. “I’m very proud to be part of this production and lucky to have worked with such a great cast and crew. I think New Zealand and international audiences will be touched when they see the amazing performances on screen.”

“Communication” has been screening in European and US festivals for the past month, where it has gained acclaim from festival directors and film-goers alike. It has been described as “a tender tale on the impossible communication between generations” (Torino GLBT Film Festival, Italy) and “a sensitive film about love discovered too late” (Pink Apple Film Festival, Switzerland).

“‘Communication’ is the only New Zealand narrative film screening at Out Takes this year, so this is a rare opportunity for audiences to see a locally-made gay film on the big screen,” says ‘Communication’ director Christopher Banks. “We’re very proud of the kudos the film has received so far and look forward to sharing it with New Zealand audiences.”

“Communication” stars Rudi Vodanovich, Alexander Campbell and Richard Lambeth, is produced by Andy Jalfon and directed by Christopher Banks, based on the play by David Blakey. It screens in Auckland on Sunday May 30 at 4:10pm at Rialto Cinema, and in Wellington on Monday June 7 (Queen’s Birthday) at 4:30 at the Paramount.

“Communication” is produced by Number 8 Films, a charitable trust which aims to increase opportunities for New Zealanders to see locally-made stories and provide training, support and assistance to people of all ages interested in performing and screen arts. All revenues earned by its productions are re-invested into future productions.


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