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‘48 Hours’ Grand National Final – Friday, 30 May 2014

700 teams entered this competition and had to adhere to the regulations  that came with it, for example, using an extreme close-up shot, scripting the line, “Not with that, you’re not, “ and having a ball as a prop.  Some of the opening footage treated the audience to ‘creative’ interpretations of the word ball: a gory shot of an eyeball being prised from a socket and, of course, an artfully arranged testicle peeking out from the fly of someone’s jeans.  Most of the finalists used the ball prop more conventionally, thankfully.

‘Irrevocable’ has a powerful and evocative sequence of a ball bouncing down a staircase, followed by an extreme close up of the ball bumping against the lead character’s foot. Gradually, through dream-like scenes and meaningful symbolism, the back story emerges and the viewer is drawn into empathising with the heartache of the protagonist.  Truly a hauntingly beautiful film!

By contrast, the short film entitled, ‘A lesson in probability’ was very funny, and they deserved to be one of the top three prize-winners.  In fact, whilst I agree with the placing of ‘Rubble’ in second place, I did not concur with the judges that ‘Pants on fire’ (Lense Flare) was the best short film produced. Yes, it had slick editing and great cinematography, but most of the singing was second rate. I know that the genre is assigned to teams and they have to make the best job they can of it, but I felt that other films did a better job with their assigned genre than the Lense Flare team did.

The film that I found the most memorable was a cleverly constructed piece called ‘Flicker’ which was assigned the time travel genre. The expert crafting of suspense, via extreme close ups of a light switch, will remain embedded in my brain forever. Peter Jackson had this to say about it, which sums it up perfectly: ‘Very clever story-telling; terrific use of camera, visual Fx, and sound design plus wonderful performances, create a genuinely scary, very memorable tale.’

In short, I thoroughly enjoyed the evening honouring the finalists in this competition. Here’s the full list of prize-winners. I recommend you use this link to view some of these films:http://www.48hours.co.nz/screening-room/

Grand National Champion : Lense Flare : “Pants On Fire”
Runner Up :Noise and Pictures : “Rubble”
Runner Runner Up : Mexico : “A Lesson on Probability”
V Best Actress : Abby Damen: Simo and Simmo”Dick Off”
V Best Actor : Hamish Parkinson : The Eh Team “Le restaurant d’erreurs”
Canon Best Direction : Alex Parsons & The Eh Team : “Le restaurant d’erreurs”
Canon Best Cinematography : Begged, Borrowed, Stolen : “A Right Tool”
The Gaylene Preston Award for Best Female Director In association with WIFT NZ
Georgia Agnew : Wolfe Street Productions : “Human”
AUT UNIVERSITY Best School Team :Film Splats : “Malice”
RIALTO CHANNEL Rising Talent : Packed Lunch Productions : “Blind Date”
NZ Herald Online Best Script : Grand Cheval : “Mi Amigo Mandarina”
Best Original Song : Lense Flare : “Pants On Fire”
Best Original Score : Hayden J. Weal : Simo and Simmo “Dick Off”
Best Animation : Mukpuddy : “Dead End Job”
Best Editing : Benjamin Brooking : Mexico : “A Lesson on Probability”
Best Makeup : Mr. Moose Films : “The Awakening”
INCREDIBLY STRANGE Film : Mad Scientists : “One Man Army”
Best Use of the Prop : Les Cousins Dangereux : “Something New”
Best Use of the Line : Une : “Ballsed Up”
Best Use of the Character : The Tributes : “My Life in Lies”
Best Disqualified Film : Halcyon Entertainment : “Bedtime”

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