High hopes for local rom com

By nathan.crombie@age.co.nz, Nathan Crombie -

Richard Falkner has his fingers crossed his first feature film will play Masterton as part of the New Zealand 2012 International Film Festival.

The 33-year-old Wairarapa College old boy said yesterday the film, produced in six months on a $100,000 budget after winning the Make My Movie competition, will play six cities during the festival run this year and he hoped Masterton also would make the bill.

"I'd really like it to but I'm not part of the selection process. I'm really hoping Masterton will be included at some point and popular demand will make that happen."

The world premiere of the film at the Paramount in Wellington tomorrow has sold out, Falkner said, but tickets were still available for a Tuesday night screening of the 80-minute feature.

The film, described as a "peeping Tom rom-com", also will play next month as part of the Melbourne Film Festival Breakthrough Screenings to buyers and agents. Falkner co-wrote the movie alongside first-time director Dean Hewitson and vied for the male lead as a condition of funding, he said, despite the role being written for him.

The concept for the film had beaten 750 other entries to win the Make My Movie challenge that was funded by NZ On Air, the NZ Film Commission and the NZ Herald.

The R13 film follows the fortunes of a stalker and won the contest with the tagline "Get to know her, then meet her". Falkner, who works a day job at the NZ Film Archive in the capital, helped launch Traces of Nut, the production company responsible for the film, which was shot almost entirely in Wellington in six hectic months.

The company also has produced short films.

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