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Wellington does it again! New local films premiered

Wellington does it again! New local films premiered

Two locally written new films are being premiered in New Zealand’s film capital on 31 January.

‘Utu Pihikete’ is a fictional period piece set in colonial New Zealand and stars actors Steven Ray, April Phillips and Ralph Johnson. Director Craig Hutchison is very excited with their casting of 11 year old actress Victoria-Rose Manu who plays the role of Atawhai in the film. “Reminiscent of Keisha Castle-Hughes, Victoria-Rose is an absolute natural. The role is complex and deep and in spite of her young age, she has an innate instinct and intuition that brought out a spine tingling performance. We think we’ve found New Zealand’s newest young star. The other exciting development has been the way known and experienced film people have joined us to make this all work.”

‘Letter For Hope’ is a contemporary and moving drama featuring actors Don Langridge, April Phillips and Lorae Parry. The themes of loss and desperation resolve in an inspirational conclusion.

Matt Sharp (Eternity, When Night Falls) was cinematographer on both films.

The Roxy Cinema in Wellington is the venue for the red carpet event premiering the two independent films. The invite only double screening for cast and crew will be open to many well known representatives from the local industry.

Both films are low budget each costing over $50,000 and were self-funded.

Wellington-based writer, co-producer and actress April Phillips says “we benefitted from a lot of goodwill from the film industry. We would have loved to have been able to pay our teams full market rates because everyone who worked on the films was experienced, talented and utterly professional. We’re extremely fortunate that our amazing personnel were inspired enough by our films to work for less than they are actually worth. That’s how many short films get made.”

The two producers plan to make a feature film in 2014 based on Phillips’ critically acclaimed stage play ‘Motel’.

Craig Hutchison of CAS’n’OVA Productions worked in television many years ago and expanded his more recent focus on theatre production to film. “I’ve produced several of April’s hit stage plays and when I heard about her film ‘Letter For Hope’ I offered to join the project as Executive Producer. Letter for Hope was directed by Raquel Roderick and I utilised my old television skills as second director. April then offered ‘Utu Pihikete’, her second film, to me to direct. So we shot two films in one year.”

CAS’n’OVA Productions and GODIVA Productions are currently looking for investors for their feature film project, and are planning further stage productions Phillips’ plays.

After the screening at the end of the month, both films will be submitted to film festivals on the international film circuit.


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