Human Traces screens at Toronto Film Festival

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Human Traces . . . Writer/director Nic Gorman, actors Mark Mitchinson, Vinnie Bennett and producer Nadia Maxwell at the Toronto Film Festival. Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images

By ROBYN BRISTOW

Being invited to the Toronto Film Festival was like being accepted into Yale or Harvard Universities, says Leithfield’s Nadia Maxwell, the producer of Human Traces.

Following hot on the heels of the New Zealand premiere of Human Traces at the Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch in July, the invitation to the festival arrived.

And travelling to the festival proved to be very special for the New Zealand contingent, says Nadia.

Vinnie Bennett, an actor in the film was selected as a rising star at the festival – one of only four selected at each festival – while Christchurch-based Nic Gorman, in his feature debut, writer-director role, was signed up by an United States talent agency.

Back home, Nadia says the film got a great review in Variety and the whole experience of meeting people involved in all facets of the industry had been exciting and extremely worthwhile.

“It has been a huge privilege to see our first feature invited to Toronto.

“It’s also allowed us to leverage momentum behind future projects. You work so long and hard on your films – so it’s great to see it pay off.”

She says the festival provided the platform to market the film on one of the largest international stages in front of international sales agents before its New Zealand release on November 16 at Town Hall cinemas in Rangiora and Alices in Christchurch.

“It will also play across the other main cities as well,” says Nadia.

Nadia says she and Nic were always conscious of having something “in our back pocket” if Human Traces, was successful.

They are now working on a “grounded” Sci-fi, driven by human drama with not an alien or space ship in sight.

“It is in the near future, but other than that it is like the now we live in,” she says.

Written and directed by Nic and produced by Nadia, the thriller is being developed with New Zealand Film Commission support.

“Momentum is building and it would be great to be able to release it later next year,” she says.

She also has another road trip film in the development stages. She will be producer of the family driven community drama written by Josephine Stewart-Tewhiu from Auckland. It will be directed by Abiugail Greenwood.

Meanwhile Nadia is keen to see another project continue to develop and grow, but perhaps without so much of her input – the Leithfield School’s community garden.

“The community does not seem to realise it is for the community not just the school.

“I am trying to hand over to new and fresh people to keep it growing,” she says.