Skip to main content

Desiree Gezentsvey, Yael Gezenstvey & 'Nuclear Family' (podcast)

Desiree and Yael
When Her Film's Kyna Morgan visits Wellington next month, we're going to a very special opening night, for Desiree Gezentsvey's play Nuclear Family, 'a comedic drama set in green New Zealand on the eve of the Chernobyl disaster, following a colourful bunch of Venezuelan and Soviet Jewish immigrants as they are forced to question whether freedom and control over one’s destiny are only illusions'. Desiree, based in Wellington, wrote the play for her daughter Yael, who will play all twelve parts. Nuclear Family premiered at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, went on to London and to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has had excellent reviews. It also won Desiree the Best Stageplay Award (Script) at the 2011 Moondance International Film Festival Competition. And now it's coming home.

I met Desiree through the International Institute of Modern Letters where we both did our script writing MAs with Ken Duncum (Desiree also writes screenplays and poems), and she's one of my most life-enhancing mates. I associate her with laughter and affection as well as amazing talent — her heart shines through in everything she does. When we work together we always have a great time. And I love the way her family works together. Another daughter, Lara, is Nuclear Family's publicist and the rest of the family helps out too. More details in the podcast, and below.

Many thanks to Laura Daly at Wellington Access Radio for all she's taught me about being a techie and for being my techie this time, and to Nik and Tony who've also helped me learn how to be my own techie when I've recorded the ten podcasts to date. It's taking me a while, but I'm getting there!

Download podcast here.


Desiree
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Desiree has lived in New Zealand since 1985 with her husband and three daughters. She has a BA in Modern Languages, an MA in Creative Writing – Scriptwriting from the International Institute of Modern Letters Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), and an MA in Literary Translation (VUW). She has had plays and short films produced, and has published a bilingual book of poetry, Next Time Around / La Próxima Vez, which deals with the subject of immigration and separation from loved ones. Her poetry piece Under the Southern Stars was recorded and broadcast by Radio NZ, and seven of her poems were set to music by award winning NZ composer Dorothy Buchanan. Desiree has also been involved in various projects as script development consultant, and has translated fiction, poetry and theatre from English to Spanish and Spanish to English.

Yael
Yael is a graduate of both VUW and Unitec (Auckland) in New Zealand, where she completed degrees in Film and Theatre, and in Acting. Over the last eight years, she has worked as an actor, producer, director and writer on various stage and screen productions including the TVNZ Sunday Theatre television feature film A Piece of My Heart and her own play Paper Scissors Rock.

Lara
Lara Phillips is a freelance senior copywriter and arts publicist based in Wellington. She has nine years experience working for various advertising and design agencies including Clemenger BBDO, and Auckland based Sugar and .99. She has been the senior copywriter on the award-winning Air New Zealand (Winner of the 2009 RSVP Grand Prix and RSVP Customer Engagement Gold Awards), New World and Westpac campaigns, and the copywriter on Honda, TSB Bank, Mainland Cheese and Alac, to name a few. She was also the publicist for the BATS Theatre show Paper Scissors Rock in August 2010.

Nuclear Family performance history
In February 2011, Yael performed Nuclear Family at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in Australia, and then at the London Solo Theatre Festival, the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the London Etcetera theatre and the Norden Farm Centre for the Arts in the UK.

Nuclear Family links
website
Facebook
Twitter
reviews
Circa Theatre 24 July - 4 August 2012  Book Here 

Comments

  1. Woo-hoo! Can't wait to listen to this, Marian :) Very much looking forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks and of course, to seeing this play.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

NZ Update #13: The Brilliance of Molly O'Shea

John O'Shea of Pacific Films is a legend in the film history of Aotearoa New Zealand. He died in 2001, aged 81. His daughter Kathy O'Shea, who died in 2010, was a legendary editor. And his grand-daughter, filmmaker Molly, gave this year's John O'Shea Memorial Address at the annual conference of New Zealand's Screen Production & Development Association (SPADA).

The address would be 'delivered by Dame Jane Campion and special guest', according to the SPADA programme. And what a special guest Molly was.

Her address is an instant feminist classic. Just brilliant. Wherever you live, if you want to persuade someone to give women filmmakers a go, entertain and inform them with this clip.
I hope that some of those producers who gave Molly a standing ovation then seized the opportunity to ask to read her pilot script, described by Jane Campion as 'incredible'. Go Molly! I can't wait to see your work.





NZ Update #3: WIFT New Zealand

This is Part 3 of an NZ Update 4-part series. Part 1 was Gender Breakthrough in New Zealand Film Commission Funding. Part 2 was a letter to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Women, Paula Bennett, about the New Zealand Screen Production Grant. Part 4 is a not-quite-A-Z of New Zealand women directors and some writers.

So how has Women in Film & Television New Zealand (WIFTNZ) responded to the lack of gender parity between women and men who write and direct, in particular the lack of gender parity in allocation of taxpayer funding? For example, does it endorse Telefilm Canada's statement, referred to back in Part 1 and to some extent implicit in the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC)'s latest Annual Report?–
Based on industry recommendations that these two roles require immediate critical attention, gender parity amongst directors and screenwriters was identified as a priority (emphasis added).The simple answer: No-one Knows For Sure. And because of this, I believe it'…

Saving Mr. Disney: A Lesbian Perspective By Carolyn Gage

To stay focused when I'm writing intensively, I go to the movies in the afternoons. It's a kind of meditation that includes the walk down the hill to the cinema and back up again afterwards. And a few weeks ago, I saw three women-directed movies in three days: Rama Burshtein's Fill The Void, Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette's Inch'Allah and Nicole Holofcener's Enough Said. Maybe things have changed, I thought to myself, ever optimistic. But I also noticed that men wrote and directed Catching Fire, from a novel by a woman, about a young woman and produced by a woman. And then I read Vocativ's analysis of 2013's 50 top-grossing US releases. This shows that almost half were Bechdel Test-passing films and that they did better at the US box office than those that weren't. BUT except for Frozen, which Jennifer Lee co-directed (and wrote) men directed all 50. And then at the weekend, all three of the new releases reviewed in our local paper (with enthusiasm) told s…