More than just good bacon

Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt has often been the butt of mockery and ridicule, but usually by people who live in a town/city with an even worse mayor (yes you, Len). But Tim has done some good things, not involving silly trainsets or making a fool of yourself at the 2011RWC:

The story of the Auckland Island pigs, Mayor Tim Shadbolt and the groundbreaking treatment of Type 1 diabetes had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah yesterday.

The Cleanest Pig, written and directed by Wellington filmmaker David White, briefly documents the plight of the pigs, and their brush with extermination, Mr Shadbolt’s intervention, and their eventual use by Living Cell Technologies (LCT) to trial a cure for Type I diabetes – all in 3 minutes, 36 seconds.

Film Otago Southland executive manager KJ Jennings said the documentary was included in a high calibre pool of filmmakers at the international festival – 19 of the short films had Oscar-nominated directors attached to them.

White was an up and coming director out of Wellington, Mr Jennings said.

Mr Shadbolt said White contacted him last year and filming was done – in full mayoral robes – about three months ago.

Considering the crew spent about half a day filming him, he was surprised at how short the film actually turned out to be.

”When they said ‘short film’ I was expecting it to be 20 minutes…I guess people don’t have the time now to watch blockbuster after blockbuster.”

He was delighted it had been produced in a ”big movie” way. Though it was an entertaining version of the issue he believed it would be ”good for the cause” and would stimulate interest in the pig cell research.

In December, LCT signed an agreement with Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory,  to co-develop a treatment for Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders.

Mr Shadbolt said it was satisfying to see the story – which has been told in two television documentaries and a ”glossy magazine” piece – make it to the big screen, after the initial public backlash when he contributed money out of the Mayoral Contingency Fund. – source: Southland Times

The Cleanest Pig | David White & Paul Wedel from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.


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  • paddles83

    Well done to both gentleman for having the foresight.