MEDIA RELEASE 13 November 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Three Finalists Selected For SPADA New Filmmaker Of The Year Award
Chaz Harris, Luke Wheeler and Summer Agnew are this year’s finalists for the prestigious SPADA New Filmmaker of the Year
Award. The winner will be announced at the SPADA film and television conference on Friday 16 November in Wellington,
with the winner standing to receive $28,000 worth of prizes.
This year the judging panel consisted of industry professionals Lynne Reed (Park Road Post), Taika Waititi (filmmaker),
and John Reid (director, Film School)
The Award honours emerging New Zealand filmmakers who have displayed excellence, special talent and creativity in their
filmmaking to date.
Chaz Harris: British writer/director Chaz Harris first decided he wanted to be a filmmaker after seeing Steven
Spielberg's Jurassic Park. Since then, he has worked in a variety of roles including work for Oscar-nominated producer
Alison Owen (Elizabeth, Sylvia, Proof) and Miramax Films in London in the development team under Colin Vaines (former
EVP, Miramax Europe). When he saw the final instalment of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings, he decided to move to New
Zealand, and has recently become a resident. He has made three short films so far under production banner Seriously
Entertainment, a company formed to develop and produce internationally viable new media and feature film content. His
third and latest short, The Shoe Box, was shot in HD (High Definition), starring Annie Whittle, Nick Blake, Ben
Mitchell, Jessie Alsop, Beatrice Joblin and Kate Harcourt. The film, supported by Kumfs Shoes, was premiered at Park
Road Post in August before launching online at the website www.theshoebox-movie.com.
Luke Wheeler: Since completing his BA in Screen and Performing Arts, Luke Wheeler has made a documentary film 4 Geese in
a Flock, which won best medium feature at the DOCNZ Festival in 2006. He has since been awarded a second grant from the
Screen Innovation Production Fund to make another documentary, which is currently in production. Over the last four
years he has also directed a number of short films Levitate Me (Super 16, Kodak Cinematography Award, 2003), The Fairy
Godfather (Digital, Finalist 48hr Film Festival, 2004), The Salvationist (Special Mention 48hr Film Festival 2006), and
won the Short Film Audience Favourite for the 48 Hr Film Festival in 2007 with his short film The Woodcutter of the
Summer Agnew: After graduating from the Elam School of Fine Art in 2002, Summer was awarded funding from the Screen
Innovation Production Fund for the documentary film Minginui, filmed in collaboration with fellow Elam graduate Adam
Luxton over 18 months in Te Urewera. Minginui screened at the Brisbane International Film Festival 2005, New Zealand
International Film Festivals 2005, DOCNZ film festival 2005, and was most recently exhibited at the Auckland Art Gallery
auditorium in 2007. In 2006 he directed the first series of Lets get Inventin, which won the Qantas New Zealand
Television Award for Best Children’s & Youth show 2006 and he has just completed 6 episodes of series 2 which is currently on air 5pm Sundays on TV2. In 2003,
Agnew founded the music video production entity thepyramidscheme.com in collaboration with 3d animator Dylan Pharazyn. Music videos include Die Die Die, Sola Rosa, David Yetton, Dimmer & The Checks. He is currently in post-production of his first drama, the NZFC funded short film ‘Patu Ihu’, an offline
version of which features on the submitted DVD showreel.
The SPADA New Filmmaker of the Year Award is made possible with the generous support of: Principal Sponsor, Park Road;
and Sponsors: Panavision, FACB, Kodak, SKYCITY Cinemas, Stage and Screen Travel Services and Air New Zealand.