NZ winner of 'Make My Movie' Richard Falkner premiers at Film Fest

Richard Falkner

Richard Falkner: Co-writer and Lead Actor of How to Meet Girls From a Distance

How to Meet Girls From a Distance, a low-budget New Zealand film written in two weeks had its Auckland debut last Sunday night at the New Zealand Film Festival.   It took  17 days to film  in a new initiative by groups including the New Zealand Herald

The short film was created by a Wellington team of budding filmmakers, is a romantic-comedy about a man searching for love in all the wrong ways. Going through rubbish bins may or may not be involved.

It won the Make My Movie competition, an initiative from the New Zealand Herald, the New Zealand Film Commission, NZOnAir and V48Hours organiser Ant Timpson, that saw anyone with a good idea pitch to get funding to turn that idea for a movie into reality.

With the tagline, “Get to know her, then meet her”, the “peeping Tom rom-com” movie follows Toby, a 30-something guy who stalks future partners, gathering as much information about them as he can so he can turn himself into the man of their dreams.

The Herald’s TimeOut section called it a “kooky, whimsical film about whether the ends justify the means when it comes to finding love.”

Wellington team Traces Of Nut, including Dean Hewison, Richard Falkner and Ruth Korver won the inaugural competition back in January then worked to create the film which screened last week as part of the NZ Film Festival in Wellington.

The Make My Movie competition saw filmmakers pitch for $100,000 provided by the Digital Content Partnership of NZOnAir and the New Zealand Film Commission.

Timpson and entertainment editor Hugh Sundae then provided advice and captured all the development in regular webisodes which ran on

“I would recommend [Make My Movie] to people as a crash course in feature film-making for sure,” Hewison told TimeOut.

“I’m hopeful that if the film does well then I might not need to put myself through that sort of intensity again, but basically within six months we went from having an idea, to watching a film with 400 people in a theatre at the film festival, so it was definitely worth it.”

Sundae said it was written in two weeks, filmed in 17 days, and edited in one month.

“Despite all this the film was accepted by Bill Gosden to screen at the NZ Film Festival. Bill has a reputation for programming films by merit regardless of their origin, and this is reinforced by the fact it has been programmed not just in Auckland and Wellington, but a range of other screenings around the country.”

The web series on the making of the movie has now almost 100 minutes of footage capturing the highs and lows of the process.

Source: NZ Herald

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