Sonya is a social issues reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

Warlords and assassins hit Downtown Tauranga

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Briana Hair (flipping), Thomas Kiwi (on the ground) and Katherine Kennard shoot a scene for Just Three Girls at law firm Harris Tate. Photo/George Novak
Briana Hair (flipping), Thomas Kiwi (on the ground) and Katherine Kennard shoot a scene for Just Three Girls at law firm Harris Tate. Photo/George Novak

One ancient relic. One evil warlord. One-hundred assassins. Just three girls.

This is the tag line for a short film that was shot around Downtown Tauranga this weekend, hitting hot spots in the city centre including the waterfront, the wings mural, the love seat, Masonic park, Ignition co-working space and law firm Harris Tate.

Producer Simone Ashton said the film was about three girls who took on an evil warlord. Ultimately, the project aimed to highlight the Bay's capabilities and showcase the location to attract potential film opportunities.

Ms Ashton said there were about 30 cast and crew members who had all volunteered up to two weeks of their time to get involved with the project.

There were also about 30 extras who helped film a scene at the waterfront on Saturday.

Ms Ashton thanked all the people who volunteered their time and locations to the project as well as Tuskany and Priority One for their support.

"Without them, we couldn't do it. They've really championed our cause."

Mainstreet Tauranga spokesperson Sally Cooke said the idea for the film began from a conversation between Downtown Tauranga and local writer and director Anton Steel.

Mr Steel, president of Bay of Plenty Film and the writer and director of award winning film The Z-Nail Gang, was asked to get involved with downtown Tauranga's Winter Carnival and he took this a step further, deciding to film a short movie in the city centre.

Mrs Cooke said Mainstreet helped the cast and crew choose locations. The weekend was spent shooting ready for the premiere at Wharf St on Saturday.

Katherine Kennard (right) throws a cup of coffee in Briana Hair's face. Photo/George Novak
Katherine Kennard (right) throws a cup of coffee in Briana Hair's face. Photo/George Novak

"Part of Anton's vision is to have the third film studio here in the Bay of Plenty. The film is an example of what we can do in just one weekend. It's a collaborative approach that would be amazing if we were doing funded films."

Mrs Cooke praised the calibre of the cast and crew.

Actors in the film include Katherine Kennard (Street Legal, Spartacus), Tanya Horo (The Z Nail Gang, Shortland Street) and up-and-coming local actress Melanie Bevan.

The stunt team is headed by Mana Davis, who has recently returned from working on Ghost in the Shell in Wellington, and Thomas Kiwi whose credits include The Hobbit and the The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The script was written by local screenwriter Darry Belbin and the film was shot by director of photographer Chris Kirkham, with Mr Steel as the film's director.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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