Escalator choses the top four finalists

The lucky four have been chosen. The four successful Escalator low budget feature film teams greenlit for production were announced last night via live stream from Wellington and Auckland. Each team has been offered production finance of up to NZ$250,000.

The four greenlit films are:


Juliet Bergh, Writer/Director; Jessica Charlton, Writer; Mhairead Connor, Producer; Melissa Dodd, Producer

Existence is a salvage punk Western set in a post-apocalyptic future. Trapped by her circumstances behind an enclosing fence, Freya dreams of escape and pursues a mysterious outsider who can free her. She destroys her world to discover that the reality of her existence was not what she imagined.

House Bound

Gerard Johnstone, Writer/Director; Luke Sharpe, Producer

When serial offender Kylie Baxter is placed on home detention, she is forced to come to terms with her dithering parents, her unsociable attitudes and a tormented soul that lives within the walls.

I Survived a Zombie Holocaust

Guy Pigden, Writer/Director; Harvey Neville, Writer; Zoe Hobson, Producer

Wesley, a young runner on a zombie film set, has the first day from hell when real zombies overrun the film set… Who are the real zombies and who are the extras? Decapitate with care!


Sally Tran, Writer/Director; Omar Crawford, Writer; Owen Hughes, Producer

Henry is forced to re-evaluate his entire life when he discovers the secret to slowing down time and is propelled into a shifting world of intrigue and danger.

Launched earlier this year, Escalator invited filmmakers to form creative teams of two or more individuals and present three first stage applications to the NZFC for consideration. 251 teams responded with 753 feature film ideas. From this number, 12 teams were chosen to attend a three-day low budget boot camp in June, and then given three months to develop one of their ideas. The final applications for full production financing were considered by an industry panel, the membership of which is Rachel Gardner, Cushla Dillon, Jason Stutter and Rolf de Heer. Short Film Manager Juliette Veber, represented the NZFC on the panel.

Making the announcement, NZFC CEO Graeme Mason said the Escalator scheme had exceeded expectations and NZFC staff had particularly enjoyed the collaborative way the filmmakers worked together, “We had multiple people change their minds about stories they wanted to tell out of the three they pitched. The fluidity between the teams, all supporting each other was exciting and points positively to the future.”

Simultaneous functions being hosted by the NZFC in both Wellington and Auckland were connected by a live stream which were viewed online at the Escalator 2010 Green light website

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