After six weeks of much deliberation and voting, the finalists have been chosen for Peter Jackson’s “Your Big Break” contest.
Five finalists, two of whom hail from the United States, will be heading to Queenstown, New Zealand to work with Oscar-winning producer Barrie Osborne (Lord of the Rings) to direct their short films based on the screenplays and video pitches that got them to the finals. Following one week of pre-production in Queenstown, the finalists will shoot for two days nearby and finish their shorts at Jackon’s state-of-the-art facilities at Park Road Post Production. All films will be completed on a budget of NZ$100,000 (about $70,000 USD).
The finalists were chosen based on their ability to “Capture the spirit of 100% Pure New Zealand—the youngest country on Earth.” Four were chosen by Osborne himself and a panel of judges, while the fifth finalist was voted in at the contest’s official website.
“Many of the entries were stellar, but our five finalists’ films displayed a combination of humor, imagination and passion that brought New Zealand’s spirit to life,” said Osborne. “I’m looking forward to working with all of these talented individuals.”
The five films will premiere at the “100% Pure New Zealand” lounge at the 25th Independent Spirit Awards. Peter Jackson himself will view and judge the films and will select one winner whose film will air on IFC just prior to the Spirit Awards live broadcast.
“Putting the spotlight on emerging filmmakers is the essence of the Spirit Awards, and giving the ‘Your Big Break’ finalists the opportunity to present their work on IFC is a fantastic way to cultivate new filmmaking talent,” said Jennifer Caserta, executive vice president and general manager of IFC.
The five finalists are Kristi Simkins (Something Special), Aya Tanimora (Sweet As), Andrés Borghi (Working Day), Tim McLachlan (Mr. Whippy and the B.M.X. Kid) and Rajneel Singh (Blank Spaces).
The 25th Independent Spirit Awards will be held on March 5, 2010. For more information about “Your Big Break,” visit