Kiwi film-makers in Oscar race

Ricardo Simich. ,
Spy News,
Publish Date
Saturday, 8 December 2018, 8:50AM
Fleur Saville. Photo / Supplied
Fleur Saville. Photo / Supplied

Los Angeles-based Kiwi producer Fleur Saville and her partner, broadcast journalist Dean Cornish, have an Oscar in their sights.

Saville has added an impressive string to her bow producing the critically-acclaimed and festival-winning documentary 40 Years in the Making: The Magic Music Movie.

The documentary is the dream project of Lee Aronsohn, the co-creator of Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory. He aimed to reunite hippie favourite the Magic Music band which he has been obsessed with since his college days.

Saville has been working in the film industry on various projects since relocating to Los Angeles eight years ago. Four years ago she learned of Aronsohn’s project and became involved.

“I had the pleasure of hosting Lee for the NZ Film Symposium in 2014. He was travelling the length of New Zealand to look at studios and locations associated with our film industry,” she tells Spy.

“During one of the long drives — it might have been somewhere on the West Coast of the South Island — he started telling me about the project. At that stage, there was very little to go on as far as finding the band members, but Dean and I undertook the task of helping to track them down and interview them to tell the Magic Music story.”

Their quest took them to wherever the band had scattered to — Alabama, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada and California.

“These are truly cool old guys and it was amazing to help make their dream come true, which was to heal old rifts and let them play together again one more time. Their music really is magic.”

Saville says the movie becomes a tribute to friendship and a love note to a forgotten time of optimism and community. And the feelgood story of ideals and disappointments, bad decisions and resilience, and the healing power of music is what the critics and festivals have lapped up, with fantastic reviews — it has a 100 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The movie has been tipped for the Academy Awards — it’s part of the FYC (For Your Consideration) for Best Documentary, giving it a head start for next year’s Oscar race. It's available to rent or buy on, YouTube and iTunes, and Spy understands it may screen on Sky’s Rialto channel.