Russian Snark to screen at Cannes Cinephines

Very exciting! Russian Snark screens at Cannes Cinephiles on Friday 18 May at 21H at the Cinema Le Raimu. Other NZ films screening are The Orator and Love Birds – check em out if you missed them in NZ! Wish we could be there!

Nadia on the Rock - Russian Snark

Address : Le Raimu : Parc de Ranguin MJC, 06400 Cannes La Bocca http://www.cannes-cinema.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=79&Itemid=101


On Film on Russian Snark Gong


NZ feature film Russian Snark has won the top prize at the 38th International Festival of Independent Film in Brussels.

The award is doubly thrilling for writer/director Stephen Sinclair and producer Liz DiFiore because the film was only invited to screen in competition at the festival two weeks ago. The late inclusion was thanks to a glowing recommendation from Bernard Bories, director of the St Tropez Film Festival, where Russian Snark screened in mid-October.

Two other NZ features – Matariki and Predicament – screened in competition at the Belgium fest, with a third – My Wedding and Other Secrets – screening outside the competition.

Matariki won two awards – Best Director for Michael Bennett and Best Actor for Iaheto Ah Hi.

Also playing at the festival were five NZ shorts: BlueEbony SocietyHaurakiMunted, and Preferably Blue.

The prizes for the Kiwi filmmakers were collected on their behalf by UK-based NZ actress Celeste Wong, who appears in My Wedding and Other Secrets and was an official guest of the festival.

Russian Snark, which enjoyed a critically acclaimed NZ cinema release earlier this year, has just been released on DVD.




Published November 14th, 2011 at 10:24 am

Russian Snark picks up top grand jury prize at the Brussels International Film Festival

Russian Snark – the independently produced and financed feature film written and directed by Stephen Sinclair, and produced by Liz DiFiore of Godzone Pictures Ltd. has picked up the top prize at the Brussels International Film Festival.

The festival was an amazing triumph for New Zealand Films with Matariki also picking up two awards for Best Director for Michael Bennett and Best Actor for Iaheto Ah Hi.

This has been a great opportunity to raise NZ’s profile in the Belgium capital.

Russian Snark’s award follows on from the October screening at the St Tropez Film Festival, and selection for the 2012 Cannes Cinephiles Film Festival in May 2012.

If you missed the NZ theatrical release, it is out on DVD in NZ only and available at www.russiansnark.com


NZ Film, Food and Wine Showcased in Brussels at the 38th Annual Brussels International Film Festival


“The New Zealand Ambassador will officially open the International Film Festival on Tuesday 1 November and this will be followed by a special screening of the New Zealand film Predicament by Jason Sutter (based on Ronald Hugh Morrieson’s novel). The official reception will showcase New Zealand wine and cuisine, with Rebecca Woodmore, the noted New Zealand soprano performing a number of waiata (Maori songs).

Two other New Zealand films will be shown during the Festival. My Wedding and Other Secrets by Roseanne Liang is a comedy which explores the challenges of cross-cultural relationship, with a specific focus on the experience of Chinese-New Zealanders. The third film, Matariki by Michael Bennett, is a fascinating portrayal of a community in the South Pacific and examines the importance of traditional Maori values. The fourth film, Russian Snark by Stephen Sinclair is the story of a Russian film maker Misha who leaves his country on board a small ship to go to New Zealand where he experiences the same difficulties to defend his ideas.”

Russian Snark to screen in St Tropez in October

Wairoa Maori Film Festival Hospitality

Arrived in Wairoa after dark, and met the festival organiser Leo Kozoil at the Nuhaka Marae.  He kindly offered to show me where I was staying back about 10 klms along the road at the Morere Hot Springs.  Thankfully I followed him, and despite trepidation about the possible rising waters in the creek took my little car up the sandy track to a lovely paddock where a number of stand alone cabins had been constructed.  Very cosy. I went back to the marae that evening and met lots of new people, had a kai, watched some fantastic short films in the spacious and beautiful Nuhaka marae, voted on said films and drove myself back to the whareiti for a good nights sleep. In the morning, I crossed the stream on the very exciting swing bridge to the roadside cafe, had a bite and headed to the Marae for our Russian Snark screening.

The screening of Russian Snark went really well with good attendance and the Q & A had lots of really interesting questions and perspectives shared afterwards.  The crowd really seemed to enjoy  our film and the ideas it communicated.  Some of the audience have since recommended the film to theaters in their areas which is really cool.

More kai, and more films that day and then a drive around the incredibly wild and beautiful Mahia Peninsula, coming back to watch Katie Wolfe’s thought provoking films This is Her and  Nights in the Gardens of Spain.  Awards ceremonies followed with much aroha and some lovely awards bestowed on the filmmakers at our table, and of course some great kai!.  The kareoke was choice as well!

Sunday morning it was a trip to the Morere Hot Pools for a fantastic walk through the bush, lots of beautiful native birds, oxygen and a soothing hot soak in the pools.  Heaven! Then back to the marae for a kai and a chance to see Hook, Line and Sinker, and another film I produced – Hugh and Heke. Lots of laughter and  support for this film too, which stars Pete Smith and Geoff Dolan. More kai – (what a festival – everything is so close and intimate and you will never go hungry)  the ladies in the whare kai never stopped getting the next meal prepared…great work ladies!  And my last meal with them was one of my personal marae cuisine favourites – mutton birds…Yum – what a treat!

Back to my whareiti for a moemoe before getting up super early to drive back to Gisborne for my 6:40am flight to Auckland.  Leo had selcted Hugh and Heke for the Matariki Festival film screenings so if you want to see it, the free programme is here:

Matariki Festival Marae Film programme:

Makaurau Marae, 8 Ruaiti Road, Ihumatao, Mangere, Manukau City

  • Friday 24 June, 7pm Rangatahi Shorts 2011, 8.30pm Matariki
  • Saturday 25 June, 6pm Rangatahi Shorts 2011, 7.30pm Hugh and Heke

Te Mahurehure Marae, Premier Avenue, Pt Chevalier, Auckland

  • Friday 1 July, 7pm Rangatahi Shorts 2011, 8.30pm Matariki

Awataha Marae, 58 Akoranga Drive, Northcote, North Shore City

  • Saturday 18 June, 6pm Rangatahi Shorts 2011, 7.30pm Hugh and Heke




Winner Best International Film – Garden State Film Festival

April 2011 – Our screening at the Garden State Film Festival went down really well – they said they hadn’t seen enough films like ours lately and really appreciated the art movie elements of our film, so much so that we were awarded Best International Film! Getting the award framed for the office now – you bet!

Russian Snark Wins Best International Film at The Garden State Film Festival

Official Selection Wairoa Maori Film Festival

At the end of the month we learned that we had been selected for the Wairoa Maori Film Festival in Gisbourne early June.  Along with another film from the Godzone Pictures stable – Hugh & Heke, it will be screening on Matariki/Queens Birthday weekend at the Nuhaka Marae near the Mahia Peninsula.  We have never been there before so will head down to represent.  Looking forward to getting to that part of the country again as it’s been quite a while.

Maverick Movie Awards

Exciting news for Russian Snark at the Maverick Movie Awards in the USA. Stephen was nominated for Best Actor, and Elena was up against Joan Rivers as Best Supporting Actress!

The Maverick is an interesting stop on the film festival circuit, celebrating great storytelling, filmmaking craft, and cinematic style and championing all movie genres and filmmaking forms from screwball comedies to experimental video art. The stated goal is to help talented moviemakers achieve the recognition they deserve by awarding movies with unique style, exceptional craft, and the power to communicate. We’re proud to represent NZ film at these awards and find ourselves in such great company.

You can find out more about the Maverick Movie Awards here and view the list of 2010 feature film nominees.


Published December 3rd, 2010 at 9:46 am

Russian Snark in Mumbai

Russian Snark was in official selection at the Mumbai Film FestivalOctober 2010 – In a flurry after the film awards in September we learned that we had been officially selected for the Mumbai Film Festival in India.  The Mumbai Film Festival’s jury was led by fellow New Zealander and filmmaking legend Jane Campion (Angel at my TableThe Piano), so it was doubly exciting to be the only NZ film to represent at the festival. What a great opportunity to get in front of a crowd of film officianados! Our friend Claude Dasan (ex Wellington Panavision NZ, & Rubber Monkey) was working in Mumbai and came along to the screening to represent & sent us the catalogue  which was very cool!  We think the poster by Indian Artist Chintan Upadhyay is very cool. 

Published October 31st, 2010 at 7:26 pm