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First Cannes, now the Academy: Curious basks in reflected Oscar glow

Youtube VideoWhen Cannes Lion-winning Curious Film director Darryl Ward was interviewed in the September/October edition of NZ Marketing, he said he’d done the music videos, he’d done the films, he’d done the commercials and now he was keen to reference his love of film and start dabbling in distribution. And the Curious gang have obviously got pretty good taste, because independent film Winter’s Bone, the first film it distributed in Australia and New Zealand, has received four Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress for newcomer Jennifer Lawrence and Best Supporting Actor for John Hawkes.

“We still can’t believe that the very first film we’ve distributed in this market has four Oscar nominations. We set up Curious Distribution because we wanted to bring original indie films to audiences that wouldn’t otherwise be screened here. The fact that Winter’s Bone is a four-times Oscar contender makes us feel like we’re doing something right,” says Matt Noonan, executive producer at Curious.

Curious has screened Winter’s Bone at cinemas around Australia and New Zealand following the film’s premiere at Sydney Film Festival and NZ International Film Festival last year. The film is now playing at Rialto Cinema in Newmarket, Paramount in Wellington and many other cinemas around New Zealand.

“We may be one of the lower budget films that’s ever been able to participate in something like this,” says director Debra Granik. “It emboldens you to keep trying, to look for more stories. You want to deliver again. As an underdog, it gives you fuel to want to do good work and bring it back.”

Before the film, 19 year-old actress Jennifer Lawrence (Ree) had never even taken acting classes: “When you make a tiny movie on a shoestring budget in the freezing cold – this has surpassed any expectation I could’ve had. We all made it because we loved and believed in the movie. And to see this happen to it and to us, there’s no feeling like it.”

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