GOLOCAL

After being the first film to resume shooting in New Zealand after lockdown, and one of the first to resume internationally, Poppy Pictures has wrapped up the production of Poppy.

The New Zealand feature film about a young woman with Down syndrome who refuses to be defined by her disability resumed filming in Kāpiti on May 29 under level 2 restrictions of ScreenSafe's Covid-19 health and safety protocols.

Cast and crew were happy to return to Kāpiti, including Sydney based actor Ari Boyland who stayed in New Zealand for the duration of lockdown.

The last six days of the 20-day shoot was challenging with fewer crew on set, social distancing restrictions and extra hygiene routines and practices.

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But only one location and a minimal cast involved made it possible to work within the safety requirements.

Having involved as many local crew and cast as possible in the filming, the production is now moving to Wellington for post-production and it is anticipated the film will be completed by late November.

The production was made possible thanks to support received from the Kāpiti Coast District Council and local businesses and organisations; from Coastlands to Kāpiti Youth Support, local secondary schools and Southwards Car Museum to Umu Restaurant and Marine Parade Deli.

The producers would particularly like to thank the residents who moved out of their home twice to allow filming there – a situation created when lockdown intervened.

Whanganui teenager Libby Hunsdale is cast in the leading role of Poppy in a script written by local Kāpiti writer and director Linda Niccol.

Poppy is supported by the New Zealand Film Commission's 125 Fund set up in 2018 to celebrate 125 years of women's suffrage, and supported by TVNZ, NZonAir, IHC Foundation and private philanthropic funders.