Maddog Quinn recognised at international film festivals
Publish Date: Tuesday, 28 March 2023
Maddog Quinn recognised at international film festivals
Southland Filmmaker, Matt Inns (left) on the set of The Ballad of Maddog Quinn with actor, Jed Brophy. Shot in Tekapo and Southland, the short film is making inroads on the current international film festival circuit.
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Southland conceived-and-made short film, The Ballad of Maddog Quinn, is currently taking the creative talents of Southlanders - Filmmaker Matt Inns and Production Designer Steve Woller - to the world as it clocks up a number of key selections and screenings on the international film festival circuit. 

Since Mr Inns’ sci-fi western screened at the prestigious Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival (Spain) in October last year, the film has gone on to screen at other festivals. The latest of these is Madeira Fantastic Film Fest (Portugal) where the film took away three awards on March 18th: Best International Short Film; Best Visual Effects – Frank Reuter; and Best Production Design – Steve Woller.

"Although Madeira is a smaller festival on the circuit, we're really grateful to be recognised for the work," said Mr Inns.

Of note, the film was selected for the well-known Tampere Film Festival, which took place March 8 -12. The Finnish event is in the top three short film festivals in Europe, screening to tens of thousands of people and well supported by the film industry. Screening in a new category, Generation XYZ, from the 465 films submitted, Maddog was one of 20 successful films selected from 17 countries.

The film has also been selected for The Landshut Short Film Festival in Germany, March 23 -27, Les Intergalactiques, a French sci-fi festival in April, and announced last Friday, it will also be screening at The Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFFF) April 11 – 23, which usually hosts more than 50,000 attendees each year.  “It's one of the bigger genre festivals after Sitges, so a really good festival for us,” said Mr Inns. The latest selection announced this week is the Fantaspoa International Fantastic Film Festival of Porto Alegre (Brazil), April 13 – 30,  the biggest genre festival in Latin America.

While inclusion at the larger festivals was important, there were also smaller festivals, well-respected in their own right, the film would be screened at. “We've recently had a couple more key selections we have yet to announce publicly,”  Mr Inns added.

With the film clocking up the number of notable festival selections it had, Mr Inns said of his movies Maddog had certainly done the best in this area, “which carries a bit more street cred in the industry”.

Maddog Production Designer, Steve Woller, described working on the film as “pretty good fun”. The brief they were given was ‘Mad Max on horseback’. The western has a post-apocalyptic, desolate wasteland look – filmed in the Mackenzie Country - with steam punk elements. “It’s the most responsibility I have had on a film project and was a pretty massive undertaking,” he said.

Mr Woller said the icing on the cake of what had been a really great experience, was receiving recognition for his work.  “I was quite excited, pretty chuffed to be honest ... a little bit distracted at work today. It’s good to have other people appreciate your work,” he added.

“Sitges is a top-tier film festival. Once you get into one of those [festivals] it can get the ball rolling,” Mr Woller said. The awards and screening of the film at numerous festivals may produce new opportunities. “People take you a little more seriously. Fingers crossed there’s more recognition, more funding as the word gets out.”  

Wellington-based VFX (visual effects) supervisor, Frank Reuter, who runs VFX company OHUfx, rounded out the trio of awards from the Madeira event for Best Visual Effects. Mr Inns described him as “very experienced and incredibly supportive of indie filmmakers ... he was a key part of Maddog from early on.”

Taking several years to make, the film was shot in Tekapo and Southland, involving many skilled people from throughout NZ, with some key roles going to Southlanders: Mr Inns (Director/Writer), Steve Woller (Production Designer), Maggie Pirie (Lead Actress), and Melbourne-based Terzann Elliott (Costume Designer).

Mr Woller is the distance learning Programme Operations Manager for Creative Media at Southern Institute of Technology – Business Division of Te Pūkenga and has been working with Mr Inns and local filmmakers for fifteen years.

Mr Inns first got behind a camera in his childhood. Recognised for his filmmaking abilities as a teenager, he completed a Bachelor of Digital Media at SIT, graduating in 2010. Alongside his filmmaking, he works for SIT Productions.

For more information, go to the New Zealand Film Commission, The Ballad of Maddog Quinn website.