Jensen Downes Picture Company

A Mazda Foundation grant of $20,000.00 to Jensen Downes Picture Company will be used to fund a short film entitled ‘Station’.

Writer and director Stephen Ballantyne says that ‘Station is an ambitious script. “We believe it has the potential to succeed within the short film festival circuit and to thrill audiences with its innovative mash of genres, colloquial humour, distortion of familiar situations and magnificent and unexpected locations.”

The film which is to be 12-15 minutes in length, will be shot in January 2009 and funds from the grant will be used to cover the costs of filming on location in Central Otago as well as special effects, makeup and costuming.

“As young and up-and-coming filmmakers, our ultimate goal is to forge sustainable careers in feature filmmaking, ensuring that New Zealand stories, such as ‘Station’, make it to the screen. Our work aims to take universal themes, filter them through a New Zealand perspective and play them out within recognisable genres to create work that is fresh and accessible to national and international audiences,” says co-producer Carla Brereton.

The aim for ‘Station’ is to have it showcased at film festivals at home and around the world including Sundance, Cannes, Rotterdam and London. Stephen and Carla’s mentor, Heather Lee of Zoomslide Media, believes this is an achievable goal.

“They have a rare combination of skills between them including writing, directing and producing, and together they create a dynamic force. Most importantly all their work achieves a level of artistic excellence”.