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Squeegee Bandit Comes Clean at Film Fest Premiere

Press Release: For Immediate Release

Squeegee Bandit Comes Clean at Film Festival Premiere

Squeegee Bandit, the debut feature documentary film from director Sándor Lau (Behaviours of the Backpacker), makes its world premiere at New Zealand’s largest film festival, the Telecom 38th Auckland International Film Festival, with screenings July 14-17.

Squeegee Bandit tells the story of nine months in the life of Starfish, a Maori man who hustles a living washing car windows at traffic lights on the mean streets of South Auckland. Starfish battles with poverty, homelessness, drugs and the law, but his greatest struggles are with the demons inside him. Taking a non-judgmental approach, Lau lets Starfish tell his truth from the frontlines in Otara.

Projected mainly in black and white with rotoscoped splashes of colour, the film is styled more after feature film and music video than traditional documentary. Music drives the rhythm of the story, and the soundtrack features Nesian Mystik, EPR, MC Zodiac, Mr. Sicc, Bigg Roccs, Truce Lee, Karl Paraha, VRS, Ngamaru Raerino and guitar score by Dave Goodison (City Newton Bombers, Garageland).

"I had my idea for the film, and spent months beating the streets looking for the right person to be the star," says director Lau, who also shot and edited the film himself. "One Saturday I go down to the Otara Markets and meet Starfish, and know almost instantly ‘He’s the one.’" Lau specializes in telling stories of outsiders who often don’t get a chance to have their say. "I knew that this would be a highly visual and entertaining story because Starfish knows window washing is more about street theatre than customer service. I wanted to tell a big story about New Zealand by telling an intimate story about one man’s life. The camera becomes like Starfish’s confessional on his journey from sin to redemption."

Squeegee Bandit was made on a small budget with grants from the Screen Innovation Production Fund and the New Zealand Film Commission. The film was co-produced by Lau and award winning producer Rhonda Kite (Te Aupouri). "Starfish is like a classic hero, completely amazing and deeply flawed, but by the end of the film you hate him, you love him, and ultimately see yourself in him. We wanted to tell the story of the collateral damage of the colonisation of the Maori people through the story of one man’s life." Kite has produced dozens of television documentaries, dramas and series in her career, including Mataku, Kete Aronui, and Otara: Defying the Odds.

Squeegee Bandit at the 38th Auckland International Film Festival:

—Friday July 14, 2006, 6:30pm Village Cinemas, 291-297 Queen Street

—Sunday July 16, 2006, 2:15pm Village Cinemas, 291-297 Queen Street

—Monday July 17, 2006, 4:15pm Village Cinemas, 291-297 Queen Street

—Tuesday July 18, 2006, 12:15pm Village Cinemas, 291-297 Queen Street

Sándor Lau and Rhonda Kite will attend all screenings

BOOKINGS:, Ticketek (09) 307-5000, Civic Theatre & Village box offices

book early to ensure seats, group discounts


Diana Heka diana(at) (09) 375-2864, 0274944930 fax (09) 377-6498
Anders Falstie-Jensen anders(at) (09) 378-6100, 0273112574
press kit with high resolution stills, preview screeners, audio clips and trailer available

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