Scandinavian sales outfit LevelK has acquired world sales rights to New Zealand comedy-drama “Bellbird,” the feature debut of Hamish Bennett.
Produced by Orlando Stewart for Stella Maris Productions and Catherine Fitzgerald for Blueskin Films, Bellbird tells the story of a dairy farmer struggling to cope with the sudden death of his beloved wife, and the gradual bond he builds with his gentle only son and the local community. The movie, written by Bennett, is set over four seasons in a modest Northland dairy farm.
“The characters of ‘Bellbird’ were inspired by my childhood neighbours in the small rural Northland community of Tauraroa…” said Bennett whose last short, “Rose & Beth,” won prizes in New Zealand.
“You don’t see many outward displays of affection or emotion, (but) the love, the loyalty, the reliance – it can all be found in the little moments, buried under the layers of cheeky banter and cow shit,” added the director.
“Bellbird” stars Marshall Napier (“The Light Between Oceans”), Cohen Holloway (“What We Do In The Shadows”), Annie Whittle (“The Worlds Fastest Indian”) and Rachel House (“Thor: Ragnarok”).
“Bellbird” was backed by the New Zealand Film Commission and Auckland post production house Images & Sound.
The movie screened in competition at Sydney Film Festival earlier this month and will be released in Australia and New Zealand by Transmission Films.
“Bellbird” is the latest in a string of films from Australia and New Zealand handled by LevelK. Recent English-language films represented by LevelK in international markets include the Australian pics “H is for Happiness,” the feature debut of theater director John Sheedy, and “Lone Wolf,” a thriller starring Hugo Weaving (“The Matrix”).