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Huge ‘Last Samurai’ Party Planned for Public


Huge ‘Last Samurai’ Party Planned for Public

The gala screening of the Hollywood blockbuster The Last Samurai will include a huge outdoor party for the public in New Plymouth – and people are being urged to come along and join the fun.

Taiko drummers, shodo (Japanese calligraphy) and origami workshops, and fireworks are just some of the entertainments that will be on offer at Puke Ariki Landing during and after the gala screening of the film at TopTown Cinema 5 on January 12.

“The filming of The Last Samurai in New Plymouth District was such a huge event for the community that we want everyone to be involved in the gala screening of the film,” says Venture Taranaki marketing manager Vicki Fairley.

“The 350 tickets to the gala screening sold out in 24 hours when they went on sale in mid-December. However we’re going to have a fantastic outdoor party so that the entire community can be involved in celebrating the release of this film in New Zealand and the key role that Taranaki played in getting the movie made.”

The festivities will begin from 6pm with the Wai Taiko Drummers performing on the TSB balcony on Devon St West, opposite the cinema complex. “For anyone who hasn’t seen these drummers perform they are absolutely fabulous – it is a very physical and visual performance with traditional Japanese drums – definitely not to be missed!” says Ms Fairley.

At 6.30pm the doors open for the gala screening. Ticket holders to the movie will walk along the red carpet entrance into TopTown, which will be decorated with props and set construction from the film.

The party will then move to Puke Ariki Landing, next to the foreshore in the city’s centre, and will feature searchlights and fireworks. Other entertainment at Puke Ariki Landing will include a game called fuku warai, workshops for those wanting to try shodo or origami, children’s rides, and adult sumo wrestling competitions.

At the conclusion of The Last Samurai, the film-goers will move to Puke Ariki – the region’s integrated museum, library and information centre, next to the landing – for a post-movie function.

Mayor Peter Tennent says he’ll be at the screening and the outdoor party, celebrating with everyone else.

more... “The filming of The Last Samurai in the district enabled us to prove that we’re exceptionally film-friendly and we have the skills and expertise to develop a film industry for Taranaki.

“Everyone in the district either worked on the movie themselves or has a friend or relative who had some connection with the filming. This is a great chance for everyone in the region to take part in the celebrations and be proud of the link we have with a Hollywood blockbuster film,” says the Mayor.


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