Stephen Sinclair

Public Address addresses Stephen Sinclair in this Podcast

Damian Christie and Michele A’Court catch up with Stephen Sinclair to talk about the process of writing and directing his first feature film ‘Russian Snark’.


Published July 4th, 2011 at 11:22 am


What a great town Wellington is! I’ve had a few days to visit old haunts and catch up with old friends, following the Q and A at the Paramount on Sunday. I lived here from age 20 to 37, and always loved the place, but since then it’s got a lot more funky: fantastic restaurants and bars, not to mention live music and theatre, and Courtenay Place and Cuba Sts on Friday and Saturday night are like one big party. I would advise anyone in their 20’s to move here post haste … and maybe older people wishing to reignite their youthful lust for life!


I’m off to Palmy tomorrow for the next Q and A. I hope I’m not too hung over for the drive – I’m hooking up with the legendary drinkers, Grant and Bryce Campbell (otherwise known as the Steinie Brothers) for a last night libation.


Published June 22nd, 2011 at 9:17 pm

New Plymouth on my mind…

Well, I’ve started my tiki-tour of the North Island with Russian Snark. The journey hardly began auspiciously:  driving through the King Country I hit the heaviest downpour I can remember – raining so hard I could barely see the car in front even with the windscreen wipers going full speed. And the road became a stream bed, the cars sending up high rooster tails of water into the air. So much for a pleasant cruise through the countryside.


But the Q and A at the Arthouse Cinema in New Plymouth went well – with a warm response to the film and some incisive questions. Francois, who runs the cinema, has created a warm intimate space in the upstairs auditorium of an old theatre. And in these challenging times, when most art movie buffs would rather watch films at home on dvd, he has managed to create a loyal audience willing to make the trip to town on a cold winter’s night.


Tonight’s Q and A is at the Paramount Theatre in Welly. I’ll keep you posted!


Published June 19th, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Russian Snark opens in Auckland – Q & A

A great opening night! Fabulous feedback – with lots of superlatives being bandied around. The very thing to warm the cockles of a director’s heart. And it was nice to watch it with an audience without the nerves I experienced at the screening at the Film Festival in Auckland last year. That time it had never been shown to a general audience and I didn’t know how they’d take it; this time I had enough confidence in it working to relax and enjoy the event myself.

Several people remarked how they saw new things in the movie on a second viewing.  And I myself find it interesting how it seems subtly change with each successive audience.

I’m off to New Plymouth tomorrow for another Q and A at the Arthouse Cinema. I’m curious to find out how it will go down in the provinces. There’s no reason to think they won’t enjoy it. The film is a curious beast – an art movie that is accessible to the general public (if I don’t say so myself!)

Published June 17th, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Auckland’s wonderful natural locations

Walking the dog around North Head and Cheltenham Beach, I pass several locations where we filmed Russian Snark. Most of what we shot was for the film-within-a-film, Misha’s studies of human figures against rock forms. It was a real revelation for me, when I started looking for locations for the film, to find so many geological marvels literally on my doorstep here in Devonport. The walk around the shoreline of North Head reveals fissures and swirls and gobs of hardened magma, some shapes almost organic in appearance. While the other end of Cheltenham Beach brings you to the sandstone cliffs that continue all the way to Takapuna. Over the millenia the horizontal striations have been pushed up by continental drift until they are almost vertical. All in all great backdrops for my actors to do their stuff against. And one thing I’m proud of is how much of Auckland’s natural beauty we managed to include in the film.


Published June 10th, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Kicking and Screaming…

I’m in the process of creating my website – only three years after my producer Liz suggested I needed one. The reasons have always been compelling: to promote my profile, publicise my plays and films etc … I’ve always drag my heels when it come to technological innovation. I resisted getting an email address until it become impossible to participate professionally and personally without one.

But actually, compiling all the copy for the website has been an enjoyable exercise; writing up a full CV for the first time, dragging up reviews of old plays from the bowels of my filing cabinet. It’s given me an overview of my work I never had before; I can see certain themes surfacing time and again through a succession of plays and films and novels. No huge surprises (after all, it’s all been dredged out of my own festering psyche!), just a little more perspective.

All going well in a few weeks you’ll be able to see for yourself on .


Published June 7th, 2011 at 1:01 am

Posters are Flying Out the Door!

Popped into the office today. Crickey, the place is swimming in posters and flyers, Liz and Katie frantically stuffing and addressing envelopes to send out to every corner of New Zild. And our publicity man Nick is lining up articles and interviews with all manner of media. It seems like years since I was in the spotlight … well, apart from a modest splash when the movie showed at the Auckland Film Festival last year. I’ve always been ambivalent about having a profile in the media, it’s just something that has to be done in order to drum up public interest in my work. But this time round I’m looking forward to raving to assorted journos and presenters. It helps that the film is something I’m passionate about. So be prepared to read/see/hear some semi-coherent excitable raving over the next couple of weeks!


Published June 2nd, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Q & A with Stephen Sinclair & Co at the Rialto Newmarket – June 16th – 6pm

Writer/director Stephen Sinclair, Stephen Papps, Elena Stejko & Stephanie Tauevihi will be on stage to take questions after the screening.  MC Tarun Mohanbhai one of Those Indian Guys will be MCing on the night.  It will be a great night!

Published May 31st, 2011 at 11:22 am

On The Road Again!

Hey everybody! Well, it’s been a long time coming – three years after shooting principal photography the New Zild public finally gets a chance to see our film (those who live outside Auckland, that is, and didn’t get the chance to see it at the Ak Film Festival). I’m looking forward to doing the Q and A’s round the North Island – in Ak, New Plymouth, Wellington, Havelock North and Palmy. It’ll be a bit like the bad old days, touring a theatre show round the country, except without the company of actors. A mixed blessing: it’s a lonely old road, but at least I won’t have to hear any carping about cruddy accomodation and lousy food etc etc from the talent!


I’m looking forward in particular to visiting Wellington, where as a young man I spent the best part of two decades. I’ll be catching up with my old pals the legendary Steinie Brothers, fellow film makers and dipsomaniacs! Also Stephen Bayliss (most of my friends are called Steve; I just feel comfortable around them), financial wizard and canny fisherman. If there’s time I hope to row out into the harbour avec lui and catch a few spotties.


And maybe on the way between provincial centres I’ll find some inspiration. Liz and I had such fun making this movie, it seems silly not to have a crack at another. We’ve been talking about shooting something in Coromandel, where we both have roots. My family bach is on one side of Coromandel Harbour, and hers on the other (we often communicate via smoke signals!). So, we’ve got the location sorted, all we need are a handful of characters and a story. Any ideas, anyone?


Published May 15th, 2011 at 8:32 pm

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