In October 2015, a film crew consisting of director Nicole Van Heerden, cameraman Stefan Coetzee and audio technician Alani Lewis accompanied the Eyes4Everest team to Nepal. Having collected an impressive amount of raw footage during the team's 3 week journey, Nicole and her post-production house are now busy at work editing and assembling that footage into a full length documentary fit for the big screen.
Eyes4Everest anticipates release of the completed documentary film in early-2018, and intends to promote it in both Australia and New Zealand with advanced screenings. Stayed tuned for updates, announcements and a sneak-peek trailer in the coming months!
Sir Edmund Hillary asked the Sherpa
“If there is anything I can do, what would that be?”
The Sherpa replied
“Burra Sahib, our children have eyes but they are blind and cannot see. Therefore we want you to open their eyes by building a school in our village of Khumjung”.
Nicole is based in Auckland, NZ, and has an MA (1st Class Hons) in Screen Production from the University of Auckland, specialising in Drama Directing, and a BSc (conjoint) specialising in Environmental Science. Her thesis film, The Huia, has screened at film festivals in New Zealand and internationally. In 2012, Nicole directed and edited the short documentary film Forgotten Dresses, which screened in the Auckland Heritage Festival 2012, and was released on DVD late last year.
Alongside various industry jobs, Nicole runs a production company, Huia Films, which specialises in promotional videos, short film and documentary. Her most recent work includes directing a short film, Whistleblower, currently in post-production. She is also a founding member of Waking Dream Collective for up & coming filmmakers.
Nicole is an ex-gymnast and soccer player, among other things, and now mainly does long-distance running. Nicole loves to travel, and among various world travels, she took part in a service project in New Delhi, India, in 2010, which involved teaching in slum schools, and working at the Kamalini Women’s Centre and at Cheshire Home for the physically and mentally disabled. She was also involved in the Auckland-based Solomon (Islands) Outreach Society in 2013-14.
Nicole first met Shaun at primary school, and, like Shaun, was inspired by the yearly visits of Sir Edmund Hillary to their high school, Macleans College. Nicole has always wanted to visit the Himalayas, so this trip is a bit of a dream come true; an exciting and unique opportunity for her and her team to film in one of the most dramatic landscapes on earth, for a very worthy cause, celebrating an inspiring and heartwarming initiative.
Ghazaleh is an Iranian- New Zealand filmmaker and Fulbright scholar who studied postgraduate screen writing and directing at the School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California in Los Angeles in 2012. There she started an internship at the Sundance Institute and continues to work for them still. She was also elected as the co-chair for the Women of Cinematic Arts Student Board.
Ghazaleh has an MA (1st Class Hons) in Screen Production focusing on Documentary from the University of Auckland where she made an award winning thesis film on Iran (supervised by Annie Goldson). It premiered in Israel and won the Outstanding Student Film Award in Beijing. In 2013, she was elected as an emerging filmmaker to partake in the first Commonwealth Writer’s Film Lab in Auckland run by the Commonwealth Foundation and B3 Media (UK).
Her first feature script At the End of the World was shortlisted for the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab in January 2014 and reached the Top 10% in the prestigious Academy (Oscar’s) Nicholl’s Fellowship in 2014.
www.ghazalehworks.com | www.blindowfilms.com
My name is Stefan Coetzee, born in South Africa but raised in New Zealand. Growing up I always had a passion for film and adventure. I didn’t just go to see movies, I LIVED through the characters and spent hours thinking through the stories afterwards considering how different life would be in that world. The opportunity to travel to Nepal and see another world and the incredible story of Eyes4Everest first hand was something I couldn’t miss. Over the last few years I have realized my dream of working in the film industry and have worked hard to create a voice for myself. I feel incredibly honoured having the chance to lend my voice to this project and capturing this adventure. An adventure that will be worth watching and will make a difference.
At a certain age I had to decide what to do with my life. I thought I should do something that helped people like healthcare or police work but I was always drawn to telling stories. The more I see of the world, the more I want to be a part of stories that make a difference and show the amazing work of the people who volunteer to do something I could not. Sharing the story of Eyes4Everest is a great, exciting opportunity and I look forward to the journey.