Being in the South of France right about now sounds pretty good, but for NZ/Korean director Stephen Kang it just got even better with news his short film Blue last night won a Grand Prix at Critics Week (La Semaine De La Critique), part of the 64th Cannes Film Festival.
The film was one of ten selected from a pool of 1,250 global entries to screen at Critics Week. And if you ever wondered what might become of washed up television characters, Blue tells the story of a former mascot on a children’s TV show who struggles to hold down a job at an Asian restaurant.
Funded by the Screen Innovation Production Fund—a joint initiative between Creative New Zealand and the New Zealand Film Commission—the film was produced by Tara Riddell through production companies AKA Films & Curious Film.
Both Riddell and Kang were in Cannes to accept the prestigious award and it’s fair to say they were both rather elated.
"It's just unbelievable, I'm still shaking," says Kang.
"We just won the Grand Prix,” says Riddell. "Surreal, totally surreal."
Executive producer at Curios, Matt Noonan, who also co-produced Blue, says:
“I'm tremendously proud – lost for words.”
And as they should, the New Zealand Film Commission today congratulated Kang and his team, saying the award was a huge honour and validation of his directing talent.