Fresh out of Shortland Street, actor Matt Walker has filmed US romantic movie Love Knots and is currently marketing his new short film, Small Waves.
Last year, Walker adapted the film from the book White Lies, Maori Legends and Fairy Tales.
"I knew it was a story that would translate well on to the screen," Walker tells "Spy. I met the writer Falstaff Dowling-Mitchell at a function and asked if he would be interested in developing a short film."
Small Waves is the story of three school friends, John, Pete and Wendy and their quest to achieve the seemingly impossible — they must outsmart school bully Wiremu at afterschool rugby trials and score a try against him.
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Set in a low-decile school in Huntly, the story also follows a dedicated teacher at odds with the new principal who has been transferred from Christchurch to lift grades.
Walker's called on former Filthy Rich co-star Miriama Smith to play the role of the teacher.
He shot the film on weekends at Nawton School — a te reo immersion school in Hamilton, and in a neighbourhood in Huntly with the Waikato River as a glorious backdrop.
Walker says Small Waves is about friendship, the importance of having pride in culture and how we can achieve anything if we work together. His says his passion for community issues in part stems from the positive public feedback his Shorty character, Dr Karl Vanderbeck, received after a storyline dealing with men's mental health.
"I miss the Shortland St whānau — I love tuning in and catching up with the storylines — I'm always so grateful for my time there,"
Small Waves has been put forward for several international festivals, including Sundance, Berlin and Brooklyn. After the movie premieres at a festival, Walker will release the film in NZ with some public screenings and eventually online.
His new romantic movie Love Knots, which was shot here in NZ, and starring Kiwi actor Brooke Williams, will be available to watch here later this year.