Timing may not be filmmaker Andrew Hunt’s strong point. He left Kiwi hip-hop act OMC in the early 90s, shortly before a wee tune called ‘How Bizarre’ hit number one in 12 countries. His son Elias was born during shooting of Hunt’s short film The Love Game, ensuring he remained unrested. “I’d come home from the edit late at night, get into bed around two in the morning and then he’d start up … I just don’t know how we did it.”
But The Love Game—an endearing hybrid of live action and animation—is now helping New York-based Hunt with his schedule. It won the inaugural Bloomingdale’s Bflix short film competition, a marketing promotion for the high-end department store. The win means he’ll be flying to LA in March 2010 for Film Independent’s Spirit Awards, just a couple of days before the Oscars. It’s also helped progress on his first feature film script, a romantic comedy to be produced by New York company Young Indies.
Not that he regrets missing OMC’s big moment; Hunt, who speaks fluent Egyptian Arabic, was then doing humanitarian work in Egypt, Lebanon and Kurdistan. He draws upon that cultural experience in his filmmaking: “It really informs your storytelling and widens your view.”
Despite having lived in six countries over the past 17 years, Hunt returns to Godzone each year. “It’s made me more proud, being away. New Zealand is amazingly unique.”