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iTunes global jukebox goes visual with short movies

Global online personal jukebox Apple iTunes begins its pioneering USA pilot project in short movie downloads with Sheffield Hallam University's UK-directed 'Point Annihilation'.

'Point Annihilation: Surf, Sex and Tattoos’ is a coming of age story about a young New Zealand surfer, is one of only fifteen films chosen by iTunes from thousands of potential movies. The thirty-minute narrative explores the surfer’s embracing of traditional Maori myth and culture. It is a collaboration between writer/director Virginia Health and editor Steve Sprung, both tutors from Sheffield Hallam University’s Northern Media School, and Weta Digital and Park Road Post (aka The Film Unit) - companies owned by internationally renowned Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson.

Virginia Heath, director of Point Annihilation and senior academic at Sheffield Hallam said: “Point Annihilation was selected from heavy competition to be one of the first short films downloadable on iTunes. I’m very proud as only two movies have been chosen from the UK to help pilot this project.

“The massive support and sponsorship by Peter Jackson’s companies gave me access to the highest quality technical expertise and creative talent in post production which helped give the film a highly polished finish. It was fantastic to see the film screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005. However, without the support of Shorts International, the film’s distributor, and their passion for promoting short films as quality content, we wouldn’t have made it to iTunes.

“I’m excited that people around the world will be able to view this rites of passage story, set in New Zealand, exploring a dynamic encounter between European and Maori culture and beliefs.”

Point Annihilation is a story about a young surfer’s passion for a Maori woman tattooist, rumoured to be the sea goddess of death, who takes him on a dangerous, erotic journey of initiation into life through surf, sex and ritual Maori tattoo.

The movie is currently only available for download in the USA as iTunes begin their pilot project, however is expected to roll out in Europe in the near future.

Sheffield Hallam University has helped inspire many other blockbuster cinema movies, including most recently top ten thriller Hard Candy. Hard Candy took more than two million pounds in its first two weeks and was directed by graduate David Slade.

Donna Goodwin | alfa
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