Devonport-based NZ playwright Stephen Sinclair’s 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: Blue, Ebony Society, Hauraki, Munted, 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.