Arts goes to the film festival

02 July 2018
Brendan Donovan
Brendan Donovan has a short film in the 2018 New Zealand International Film Festival.

"Be warned, this is scary stuff."

That's the billing for one of three films by Faculty of Arts staff showing in the 2018 New Zealand International Film Festival.

No Shame by Brendan Donovan, Senior Lecturer in Screen Production, is one of the six best New Zealand short films that cinematographer Leon Narby has chosen for the festival.

Based on Carl Shuker's novel The Lazy Boys, Donovan's film is sharply focused on defeated University of Otago student Richie as he returns home to Timaru — in his own words: "to hide". Fractured by past relationships and unable to communicate with his parents, Richie is haunted by shame — a real option, he says, when you "wake up drunk and can't remember what you did at the party to that girl, only it might've been really bad".

No Shame is a cautionary tale of how teen boys can become alienated, says Donovan, whose feature The Hopes & Dreams of Gazza Snell premiered at the New Zealand International Film Festival in 2010.

Screen Production masters graduate Todd Karehana's film My Brother Mitchell will screen in the festival's Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts 2018.

Associate Professor of Screen, Dr Shuchi Kothari’s short film Shit One Carries takes viewers to another continent.

Directed and written by Shuchi, it deals with Avi, a middle-aged Silicon Valley engineer, who returns briefly to his childhood home in India to care for his bedridden father Amrutdada.

One afternoon, everything goes out of kilter when Amrutdada has diarrhea and his carer is not there. Avi panics and tries desperately to get someone — anyone — to clean up after his father.

"When forced to perform the unpleasant task himself, Avi realises that to clean his father's shit, he must let go of his own crap," says Schuchi.

The third film by an Arts staff member that will screen at the Festival is Cul de Sac, directed by Associate Professor Jake Mahaffy. The film is about a father bringing stress home from work. "It centres on a single, long take as a father teaches his kids a lesson about (not) bullying," says Jake.

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