Silo Cinema presents "Spellbound" with North Pole Deception

Silo Cinema presents Spellbound this week. As always the film will be complimented by the Silo Night Market where you’ll be able to grab dinner from an eclectic array of street food style stalls, browse a variety of pop-up clothing stores and craftmakers, get your haircut, and of course toast the end of the week at the Silo Park Bar. This December all profits from the sale of popcorn will be given to the Auckland City Mission. Make sure you take time to come and check out the Auckland City Mission Angel Tree next to Silo 7 as well. Stand under the branches, buy a pair of angel wings and become an angel somebody in need this Christmas.

Friday 07 December - 9 pm, preceded by "The North Pole Deception".

Check out the Silo Park Cinema site for more info.

Penny Black Movie

Thanks again to everyone involved in the making of The North Pole Deception. It was a dream project to make and I couldn't have made it by myself.

I'd now like to point you over to my debut feature film project Penny Black.

Like The North Pole Deception, the movie draws on serious themes of consumerism, capitalism and the environment, but it has a cartoonish approach with a comedy element. For example, we've created a superhero called Lapwing, and you can hear his theme music by clicking on this image:

Self-centered twenty-something Penny Black Astra McLaren travels down the North Island of New Zealand in an attempt to save her job and opulent lifestyle. Along the way she meets a guy name Guy (Anton Tennet); who makes her slow her down and question how the world works.

Movies in Parks!

Free screenings of "The North Pole Deception" this March as part of Show Me Shorts Film Festival.

This selection of seven of the best has been specially curated for the Movies in Parks series. These short films are varied in tone and temperament, but all are engaging and entertaining. The subjects range from an amusing road trip by a gang member with wanderlust to a 'serious' exposé highlighting the poor working conditions for elves in Santa's workshop at the North Pole. Don't miss 2011 Academy Award shortlisted 'The Six Dollar Fifty Man' or Show Me Shorts 2010 Best Film winner 'This is Her'.

Screening in the Aotea Square as part of the Auckland Arts Festival 2011.

Date: Fri 11 March & Mon 14 March 2011
Venue: Aotea Square
Cost: Free

More information available here:


The North Pole Deception is on the Internet Movie Database, so you can see who played the voice parts - and rate or review the film if you want to. You can also "like" the film through IMDB on facebook.

I've recently sent the film off to a few film festivals further abroad. I'll update (rejections and all) when I start to hear back in 2011!

Duperie au pôle nord

French synopsis courtesy of Camille Maroslavac:

The North Pole Deception » est un portrait intimiste des tribulations quotidiennes des ouvriers et du gérant d’une usine, ainsi que celles d’un militant sans domicile vivant dans la rue.
C’est un aperçu glaçant de l’exploitation de la communauté elfique par l’occident, dans le lieu le plus froid de la planète.

People are talking...

The highlight was the "world premiere" of Joe Hitchcock's The North Pole Deception, a clever, stop-frame animation satire of workers' conditions at Santa's factory.

Hobbits don't have anything to complain about compared with the working conditions the elves have to put up with: the freezing cold, lack of toilet breaks and a tyrannical boss who appears to be the missing link between the workers and the big man himself.

The film had all the makings of parody gold, particularly the broad Kiwi accents that peppered the dialogue with street slang, and blasé yeahs, nahs and y'knows.
- Short films pack in originality and wit, Rebecca Barry, NZ Herald (9th Nov 2010)

Financially-beneficial or otherwise, there's no doubt that the range of films on offer in the 2010 offer a diverse selection of takes on the world. While some films have benefitted from funding, others have been achieved by the sheer amount of time and energy their creators have invested in them – Joe Hitchcock's claymation North Pole Deception (screening in the Imagination strand) being a case in point.
- Show Me Shorts: exhibits sexual preference for soft toys, Screen Hub (20 Oct 2010)

What films are you most looking forward to at this years line-up?
We have such a strong programme of films this year. The collection includes timely and clever gems like the claymation mockumentary ‘The North Pole Deception’, about the poor working conditions for elves in Santa’s workshop.
- Show Me Shorts Film Festival interview,

This could be my first negative review, but it's too brief for me to tell:
The North Pole Deception is a claymation doco about the intolerable working conditions for elves under Santa’s yolk and owes more than a little to Aardman’s famous Creature Comforts series.
- At the movies with Dan Slevin, Capital Times (10 Nov 2010)

"A Local Highlight"!

Joe Hitchcock nominated

I somehow ended up being nominated in the "Best Director" category with the big kids who make NZFC funded short films! Congratulations to Mark Albiston for taking the award with his hilarious short film ‘The Six Dollar Fifty Man’. The same film also won "Best International Short" at Sundance, and "Jury Prize" at Cannes, so it's really an honour to be nominated in the same category!

You can read the full list of Show Me Shorts awards here.

THIS may be my first ever film review:

"The North Pole Deception sees the workshop conditions of the elves at the North Pole blown apart. Filmed in a doco and interview style, the crude plasticine animation may lack aesthetically but a clever script certainly brings the cruelty into the yuletide season. And the final shot and use of candy canes is perhaps one of the cleverest I've seen in a while."- by Darren Bevan
You can read more of his Show Me Shorts reviews at

The film has also been recomended as one to watch out for on National Radio (mp3 interview), Kiwi FM (my interview - not recorded sorry), WIFT, in "Gina Dellabarca talks Show Me Shorts" and numerous other media.

All this fuss has made me realise I should send the film to some festivals further abroad!

NPD Cinema Sessions

WORLD PREMIERE - Fantastic Planet Film Festival

SYDNEY - Dendy Cinemas Newtown
Nov 4th @ 7pm


One Small Step (Dir: Damien Slevin/4 min/AUS)
The North Pole Deception (Dir: Joe Hitchcock/10 min/NZ)
The Cats of Mars Meet the Toy Car (Dir: Jacob Stålhammar/8 min/ Sweden)
The Adjustable Cosmos (Dir: Adam Duncan/21 min/AUS)
The Astronomers Sun (Dir: Simon Cartwright & Jessica Cope/6 min/UK )
Lifeline (Dir: Andres Salaff/6 min/USA)
Tales from the Afternow: Little Rocks (Dir: David T. Krupicz/12 min/CAN)
A Complex Villainelle (Dir: Howard Cook/8 min/USA )
SuperBattle: Episode 1 (Dir: Ethan Marak/7 mins/USA)
Yamasong (Dir: Sam K. Hale/9 min/USA)
The Painter of Skies (Dir: Jorge Morais Valle/20 min/ESP)

Tickets from Dendy Newton

SHOW ME SHORTS New Zealand 2010


Bird Brain (Dir. Patrick McGabe, 9 min, AUS)
Bridge (Dir. Jochen Fitzherbert, 11 min, NZ)
Tundra (Dir. Claire Phillips, 13 min, AUS)
Sacrifice (Dir. Robert Jukic, 9 min, AUS)
Base Jump (Dir. Steve McGillen, 9 min, NZ)
Locked In (Dir. Nick Fernandez, 17 min, AUS)
The North Pole Deception (Dir. Joe Hitchcock, 10min, NZ)

AUCKLAND - Academy Cinema
November Fri 5th 8:15, Mon 8th 4:30, Wed 10th 4:30, Sun 14th 4:30

DEVONPORT - The Victoria Picture Palace and Theatre
November 5th, 8:15, Sat 6th 12:30, Wed 10th 8:15, Fri 12th 12:30

WAIHEKE ISLAND - Community Centre
November Sat 6th @ 5:00pm

TAURANGA - Bay City Cinemas
November 18th @ 6:30, 22nd @ 1:30pm, 25th @ 1:30pm, 26th @ 1:30pm, 27th @ 1:30pm

WELLINGTON - Paramount
November Sat 13th @ 6:30pm, Mon 15th @ 1:30, Thurs 18th @ 1:30, Sun 21st @ 6:30

CHRISTCHURCH - Rialto Cinema
November 11th @ 8:30pm

DUNDEDIN - Rialto Cinema
November 17th @ 8:30pm

WHITIANGA - The Monkey House (2011)
January 6th @ 7:30pm, Fri 14th 7:30pm