Ant Timpson's dark thriller going to Tribeca Film Festival

Publish Date
Thursday, 14 March 2019, 1:27PM

Two Auckland filmmakers have had their movies accepted into New York's highly prestigious Tribeca Film Festival. The festival, which was co-founded by Robert De Niro in 2002, runs from April 24 through to May 5 in New York. It's long been hailed as a prominent fixture for independent filmmakers.

This year alone the festival received a total of 9295 submissions, so you begin to realise what an achievement landing a spot really is.

Though the roots of both films are in Auckland they are worlds apart.

The first is House of Hummingbird, a touching coming-of-age drama set in Seoul, Korea, in the mid-90s. It's about a quiet, teenage girl with a passion for karaoke and shoplifting. However the arrival of a new teacher sees her forging an unlikely, possibly life-altering, connection. Produced by Auckland's Zoe Sua Cho, the film is in premiering in the International Narrative Competition.

The other movie to be accepted is Come to Daddy, which is having its world premiere in the festival's Midnight Section. That's exactly where you'd expect to find a film directed by local movie maverick and the bizarre brains behind the Incredibly Strange Film Festival, Ant Timpson.

The movie, which Timpson describes as "a dark thriller with comedic moments,", stars Elijah Wood and Madeleine Sami. It's about a chap who receives a cryptic letter from his estranged father inviting him to stay at his oceanfront home. But it's an invitation he may not have been so eager to accept had he known the truth behind his old man's dark secrets...

Intrigued, TimeOut bugged Timpson on Twitter to get the skinny on what it means for a filmmaker to have a movie accepted into the Tribeca Film Festival.

"Well, Truman Capote once said that New York is the only real city-city. But he was very small so I'm not sure how much weight there is behind the quote," he replied in typically odd fashion.

We then asked how he felt on hearing the news that his movie had been accepted.

"I'm confident I felt bigger than Truman Capote ever did," he replied.

At this point we're unsure why the great American novelist and playwright was on Timpson's brain. Does Capote play an integral role in the film? Is this a clue to unlocking the themes and mysteries of the story? Is there any sense to be made out of any of this? Dunno.

Perhaps all will be revealed when the movie screens here. So uh, when will audiences here get to see the film exactly?

"They might see Come to Daddy at a film festival or at their friendly neighbour theatre (do they exist anymore?)," Timpson answered. "I will know much more after the film's World Premiere. I am only a lowly director on this film. All the important decisions will be made by others."

This article was first published on and is republished here with permission

Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you