Film fes­ti­val in dire need of fund­ing

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By ALAS­TAIR LYNN

The Doc­u­men­tary Edge Film Fes­ti­val is hang­ing by a thread.

Re­turn­ing for its 10th year, the event which cel­e­brates lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional film-mak­ers is suf­fer­ing from a ‘‘frag­ile sys­tem’’, or­gan­iser Dan Shanan says.

A lack of fi­nan­cial sup­port has left the fes­ti­val scram­bling to cover costs.

The re­sults of for­mer Heart of the City boss Alex Swney de­fraud­ing more than $2.5 mil­lion from the or­gan­i­sa­tion has meant a loss of fund­ing, open­ing up a sig­nif­i­cant gap in the fes­ti­val’s re­sources.

‘‘It shows how frag­ile the sys­tem is,’’ Shanan says.

‘‘That had a ma­jor ef­fect on us be­cause those are ma­jor funds we had to sup­port the event.

‘‘The acts of one per­son can have a dam­ag­ing ef­fect on all of us.’’

Shanan says the fes­ti­val is set to con­tinue be­cause of ‘‘ a lot of long hours and a ded­i­cated team’’.

But the prob­lem is a wider is­sue, he says. ‘‘It’s a vi­cious cy­cle. ‘‘The strug­gle has al­ways been for fund­ing.

‘‘Even spon­sor­ship is not as easy as one might think.

‘‘We are lob­by­ing and talk­ing to the Gov­ern­ment on how this needs to change.

‘‘I’ve got let­ters from may­ors and politi­cians say­ing how great it is but when it comes to in­fra­struc­ture and fi­nan­cial sup­port we don’t get it.

‘‘The peo­ple that make the de­ci­sions need to un­der­stand that they need to pour more at­ten­tion and money into it.’’

The fes­ti­val is now re­ly­ing on box of­fice sales, which usu­ally pro­vide about 25 per cent of the bud­get, to make ends meet.

When Shanan ar­rived in New Zealand in 2005 the doc­u­men­tary cul­ture in New Zealand ‘‘ was like a desert’’.

The scene has im­proved in leaps and bounds but there is still some way to go, he says.

‘‘Look­ing back over the past 10 years you re­alise what you have achieved and how far you have come.

‘‘We have the op­por­tu­nity to be the lead­ers in the re­gion for film and doc­u­men­taries.

Doc­u­men­tary Edge Film Fes­ti­val or­gan­iser Dan Shanan.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.