FRIENDS OF THE CIVIC
FRIENDS OF THE CIVIC CHARITABLE TRUST
The Friends of the Civic was formed in 1989 to help save the Civic Theatre (the finest 'dream palace' in the Southern hemisphere) from demolition by the Auckland City Council, at the time, when it gained ownership in 1993. Working on the “squeaking gate” principle, the Civic was granted Historic Status and was saved for future generations. One of the aims of the friends of the Civic is the presentation of “The Golden Elephant” award to a promising upcoming NZ short film maker, when their work is screened during the Auckland International Film festival, and to encourage the art of film making and to recognise the capabilities and talents of NZ film makers. This is gifted by the Friends of the Civic Charitable Trust as an appreciation for the art of filmmaking and the association of cinema with Auckland's Civic Theatre.
The unique 'flamingo' curtain
Our inaugural Fundraising High Tea held at James Wallace’s home, ´Rannoch´ and was a great success. On this occasion the
Peter Wells presented 2009 Film Award to Christopher Banks for his short film Teddy.
"Teddy" is a short film about Tony, a dyed-in-the-wool Londoner who has travelled over 10,000 miles to rural New Zealand for a holiday with his ex, and the man who abandoned him for a life on the other side of the world - Neil. While Tony’s hopes of rekindling his relationship with Neil are complicated by the presence of Neil’s new man, Phil, it’s a faded old teddy bear, which will finally decide their fate.
In 2006 the Film Award was present to Tearepa Kahi for his film 'The Speaker' l. Somehow it proved worthy of receiving the award from 'The Friends of the Civic' for Best Short Film. A great moment personally, which was then followed by a number of international plane rides to some amazing festivals. However, last year was also the time we got working on the new one, 'TAUA'. When I first told the idea to a friend he laughed at me. So did the second person. I started developing a real complex by the fifth person, but the idea only ever got stronger in my mind. We've just delivered this film to the 2007 New Zealand Film Festival and seem somehow to have received this esteemed award yet again. It's understandable then that this time of Matariki contends with Christmas as my favourite time of the year.
Sir James Wallace
Auckland arts patron James Wallace, who has been made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and Chairman of the late Friends of the Civic Charitable Trust, is worried about financial support for the arts by upcoming generations of wealthy professionals.While he was pleased and honoured to be made a knight, he hopes it is a bit of a wake-up call."I hope it encourages others to support the arts in particular, especially financially," said Sir James. "Some of my generation have supported the arts so well but you look at the back of any of the programmes for theatre, opera, ballet - basically it's the same group of people and we are all getting older."We don't seem to be succeeded by new generations and yet many professionals and business people are very wealthy. They don't seem to be following the example and it is a worry."I see them attending arts events ... but I certainly think they are not into philanthropy. They are immersed in their own lives and their own wealth."Sir James, who has collected contemporary New Zealand art since the 1960s, established a charitable trust in 1992 to administer his collection - estimated at more than 5000 works - which has been available for public viewing as revolving exhibitions.The trust also runs annual awards worth more than $160,000 for emerging artists and international residencies, along with patronages, including the Auckland Writers Festival, the Auckland Philharmonia, the Auckland Theatre Company, Friends of the Civic, the McCahon House Trust and NBR NZ Opera.Last year, the Wallace Arts Trust and Collection moved to a new permanent home in the restored historic Pah Homestead in Hillsborough."In eight months, we had 100,000 visitors," said Sir James. "One of the nicest things about the story was that a Samoan girl who had been here with a school party a week or so before, brought her family back here with her."Now that family would never have gone to see contemporary New Zealand art. It's so important to reach out into the community."There is the art, of course, but there is the beautifully restored house, the grounds, the great park hardly anyone knew about ... To have people coming in from all over Auckland and other parts of the country means we are exposing people to contemporary New Zealand art who might otherwise have not been aware of it."
Copyright ©2011, APN Holdings NZ Limited
In 2006 the Film Award was present to Tearepa Kahi for his film 'The Speaker' "Somehow I proved worthy of receiving the award from 'The Friends of the Civic' for Best Short Film. A great moment personally, which was then followed by a number of international plane rides to some amazing festivals. However, last year was also the time we got working on the new one, 'TAUA'. When I first told the idea to a friend he laughed at me. So did the second person. I started developing a real complex by the fifth person, but the idea only ever got stronger in my mind. We've just delivered this film to the 2007 New Zealand Film Festival and seem somehow to have received this esteemed award yet again. It's understandable then that this time of Matariki contends with Christmas as my favourite time of the year.
Sir James Wallace
Tammy Davis was the 2009 winner of the FCCT short film award announced during the July International Film festival.
At the Friends of the Civic AGM Tammy Davis, received from Sir James Wallace his “Golden Elephant” plaque.
Tammy won his award for his short film “Ebony Society’ which has screened at both the Sundance and Berlin Film festivals.
At Saturday’s NZ Qantas Film & TV Awards, Tammy won the award for both Best Short Film
and Best Screenplay for a Short Film category
for his “Ebony Society”. Congratulations Tammy!!
In 2008 The Friends of the Civic Short Film Maker Award was presented to Katie Wolfe for her excellent film 'This is Her'. . A life of drama fits television star Katie Wolfe as comfortably as a made-to-measure costume.
Winner of the 2010 FCCT Short Film Award was Sam Peacocke for his film Manurewa.
The film's story line is based around the shooting of Manurewa shopkeeper, Navtej Singh, in 2008.
The incident made headlines around the country because of delayed response time by emergency services as the 30-year-old liquor store owner, who eventually died, lay bleeding from a gun shot wound.
Peacocke describes the film as "emotionally powerful," it "grabs the audience by the throat".
At 20 minutes in length it also shows the trend of short films now being a little longer than the previously tradition 15 minutes.
The film was selected for various festivals around the world, culminating in a premiere at the Berlin Film festival.” It got by far the greatest applause of all the short films that showed," Peacocke says proudly.
Sam has been kept busy directing music videos and working on commercials.
“Manurewa” is based on a real murder of a South Auckland liquor storeowner. Navtej Singh bled to death while the police and ambulance waited outside; hamstrung by bureaucracy. Meanwhile the public walked in and out of the store without helping; some even stealing alcohol.
The film doesn’t form its own conclusions, but it leaves a lot of questions to walk away with.
The film was shot on 35mm with a skeleton crew, utilizing available light as much as possible. It was shot on location in South Auckland and features mostly non-actors.
Sam Peacocke won the prize for best short film in the Generation 14 Plus section for his 20-minute-long story Manurewa. The curators of the Generation section said they watched more than 1000 films from around the world to make up the programme this year and Peacocke's was one of only 14 short films selected.
In a statement, the jury, which included New Zealand director Taika Cohen, said of Manurewa that "in a very short time this film synthesises and skilfully compresses independent story lines and characters, merging them together into a single irrevocable, ever-changing moment. Our winning film is not only about perpetrators and victims, but also about human beings."