Kiwi directing duo Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland, collectively known as Mark & Louis, have picked up a Grand Prix at the Berlin International Film Festival for their feature Shopping. And, in more good news for The Sweet Shop gang, it has also been named as one of Creativity magazine's stand-out production companies of 2012.
- To view a scene from the film click here.
Shopping, the duo’s first feature film, is set in 1981 in a world of muscle cars, racial tensions and a thieving bird, all of which inform the small town life of brothers Willie and Solomon. After a chance encounter with charismatic thief Bennie and his close-knit gang of 'shoppers', Willie is seduced into a criminal world that allows him to escape mounting tensions with his volatile father. But as Bennie's hold over him grows, Willie finds himself in over his head. And when Solomon is left to fend for himself at home, Willie's two worlds collide with shattering consequences.
Before Berlin the boys had success in the States and UK with Shopping premiering at the Sundance Film Festival and being privately screened at SoHo House in Los Angeles and the Curzon SoHoin London.
“It's fantastic to have our work recognised at the Berlinale," says Sutherland. "It’s such a wonderful festival filled with people who know and love their film. Also, we really want to thank Princey and all The Sweet Shop team in LA and London for making us feel at home on tour. Especially Amanda and Morgan who did a brilliant job at organising everything for our Shopping screenings. Now, let's make some commercials."
As for the Creativity accolades, The Sweet Shop was the only company in Australasia to be selected in the Stand Out Production Companies of 2012 list (one below its A-List ranking) for its 'distinctive comedy infused with delightful visuals".
It was the work from Steve Ayson, Stuart McDonald and Melanie Bridge that caught Creativity’s eye, with DDB's MySky ‘Father Time’ and Instant Kiwi 'Push your Luck', Clemenger BBDO Melbourne’s Carlton Draught ‘Beer Chase’, Fallon Minneapolis’ The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas ‘Let Me Go’ and Clemenger BBDO Wellington’s Dulux ‘Weather’ singled out for praise.
“This is a particularly sweet year to earn this recognition from such an important US publication," says founding partner/chief executive Paul Prince. "A real tip of the hat to our fine directors and the efforts of the group's management across the globe and all those who support them.”
The Sweet Shop was also ranked as the third production company in the world Best Ads on TV and Steve Ayson was nominated for outstanding directional achievement in commercials by the DGA.