World film premiere at Wainui Bay

By Lindy Laird

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Adam Hogg (left) Keenan Rush, Donald Morgan and Jason Taylor.
Adam Hogg (left) Keenan Rush, Donald Morgan and Jason Taylor.

Possibly the puddles prevented the red carpet being rolled out, and it was stars that shone brightly rather than paparazzi camera flashes at the world premiere of The Turning Tide at Wainui Bay Recreation Centre.

But the stunning setting could have been straight out of a movie, the vibe was pure Kiwiana, the weather had fined up, and about a hundred people - including excited children - came out to celebrate on Saturday evening.

The Turning Tide was made by Jason Taylor, of Kerikeri, and Adam Hogg, of Russell, and filmed at Wainui and Piapia Beach, north of Matauri Bay.

Its first public screening was held at the local rec centre as a way of thanking the local community for their support, Mr Taylor said.

About 40 people were seated, many crowded outside the former schoolroom's wide open doors and dozens of children sat on the floor in front of the screen.

"This is the most important screening our film will ever have," Mr Taylor told them.

The 10-minute film is about honouring kai moana and local fishing grounds, the loss of fish resources and an awareness of the harm done by some commercial fishing.

Two local boys, Donald Morgan, 15, from Wainui Bay, and Keenan Rush, 14, from Whangaroa, star in the film - along with a horse which the premiere's audience heard is called Stanley.

Donald said he enjoyed the acting experience and was proud to share the film's first screening with his whanau, friends and local people. Keenan admitted to being a little less keen when the acting proposition was first put to him but he quickly warmed to the project.

Both boys said they'd like to do more acting and learn about film-making.

The film-makers' research and preparation included having a stall at the Ngapuhi Festival at Kaikohe asking Maori people to share their fishing stories and concerns, Mr Taylor said.

The Turning Tide has been selected for showing at the Wairoa Maori Film Festival this Queens Birthday weekend.

Mr Taylor's and Mr Hogg's first venture into movies came about after they met at a film-making and screenwriting course in Rawene two years ago.

Mr Taylor said he had an idea for a script which tutor Michael Bennett encouraged him to pursue. With Mr Hogg's production skills, the two began a 14-month project to get the film made.

They had not known each other before doing the film course but both are teachers in Northland: Mr Hogg at Opua and Mr Taylor, formerly at Matauri Bay Primary School, is now working at Oramahoe.

They received a $5000 Creative Communities grant for the film via Far North District Council, and raised the rest through sponsorship and other support.

- Northern Advocate

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