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A New Comedy-Drama - ‘Number 2’

Principal Photography begins on latest New Zealand Feature Film, a new comedy-drama ‘Number 2’

Auckland, New Zealand, March 8 , 2005

Numero Films today announced that principal photography had commenced on the comedy-drama feature film Number 2, written and directed by award winning New Zealand writer of British-Fijian descent, Toa Fraser. The film marks screenwriter Toa Fraser’s directorial debut, following the success of his internationally acclaimed stage play of the same name.

Number 2 is being produced by Tim White (NED KELLY, TWO HANDS, OSCAR & LUCINDA), Lydia Livingstone and Philippa Campbell (RAIN). The production is being funded by the New Zealand Film Commission, Working Title Films, Miramax Films, NZ On Air and TVNZ. Miramax Films acquired the New Zealand and Australian rights during Cannes Film Festival. Victoria Treole is the production executive for Miramax.

Number 2 tells the story of a mischievous matriarch and her dynamic mixed race Fijian-New Zealand family. One hot summer night, Nanna Maria dreams of her childhood in Fiji. She summons her grandchildren home to Mt Roskill and demands they prepare a feast at which she will name her successor. Set in a vibrant, unpredictable, physically expressive world where duty is the purest expression of real love, Number 2 is a universal story about a unique Pacific culture.

The role of Nanna Maria will be played by Emmy Award winner Ruby Dee. Ms Dee is the first African-American woman to play major roles in the American Shakespeare Festival and she has appeared in many feature films including Spike Lee’s JUNGLE FEVER and DO THE RIGHT THING. She was recently a recipient of a prestigious Kennedy Centre Award.

“What attracted me most to the whole piece is the emphasis on cultural estrangement and finding a way back to Family”, said Miss Dee. “This is something being experienced in so many places in the world – as today we are wooed away from our families for so many reasons.”

“Nanna Maria is a wonderful role, her efforts as the matriarch who wants to undo some of her own mistakes and give the family back to itself, is a great gift”.

Number 2 will feature the talents of both well established and emerging New Zealand Actors: Mia Blake; Taungaroa Emile; Tanea Heke; Xavier Horan; Nathaniel Lees; Rene Naufahu; Miriama McDowell, Anthony Starr and Pio Terei.

Tuva Novotny, one of the most successful young Scandinavian actresses, joins the cast. At 25, she has already acted in more than a dozen films, including the lead in the international success JALLA! JALLA! and a recent role in THE WILD AND WYCKED WORLD OF BRIAN JONES. Tuva has been awarded many prestigious prizes including International Shooting Star, Berlin Film Festival in 2002.

Behind the scenes of Number 2 are some of New Zealand’s leading film practitioners:

Director of Photography: Leon Narbey (WHALE RIDER, PERFECT CREATURE)
Casting: Diana Rowan (WHALE RIDER, IN MY FATHER’S DEN)
Production Designer: Phil Ivey (PERFECT CREATURE, IN MY FATHER’S DEN)
Costumes: Kirsty Cameron (WHALE RIDER, PERFECT CREATURE)
Film Editor: Chris Plummer (IN MY FATHER’S DEN)
Composer: Don McGlashan (ANGEL AT MY TABLE)

International Sales of the film are being handled by NZ Film, the sales arm of the New Zealand Film Commission.


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