Kiwi film-maker Regan Hall's debut feature Fast Girls - a Bend It Like Beckham-style tale about a female sprint relay team instead of football - opens in cinemas in Britain this week timed to ride the Olympic hype.

Hall, who moved to London in 2000 after working as a film editor in Wellington, has made his name in commercials for top brands ranging from Dolce & Gabbana to Revlon.

However, in the late 2000s he shot his debut short film 3 Hours, about an Iraqi lad named Akram who is set on revenge after militants murder his young brother.

Shot in Jordan, with a cast made up of Iraqi refugees, Hall self-financed the project before attracting outside backing, including from the team behind Oscar-winning film The Hurt Locker.


3 Hours then caught the attention of Fast Girls producer Damian Jones (The Iron Lady, The History Boys) who asked Hall on board to direct.

In contrast to 3 Hours, Fast Girls is a feel-good film for Olympics year, although judging by the trailer there is some intense action on and off the track between its two leads played by up-and-coming British actresses Lenora Crichlow as Shania Andrews and Lily James (Wrath of the Titans) as Lisa Temple.

In Britain, James' career is on the rise with Fast Girls being tipped to make her a star in much the same way as Bend It Like Beckham did for Keira Knightley.

Check out the trailer for Fast Girls:

- TimeOut