A short film shot entirely in the Far North has been selected for screening at one of Mexico's top film festivals.
Midriff stars Kerikeri actor/musician Makareta Umbers (Smash Palace, Bridge To Nowhere, Mr Wrong) alongside newcomers to the big screen, Willi Henley (Kaikohe) and Adam Parmenter (Kerikeri).
The quirky 20-minute comedy will be shown at the Oaxaca FilmFest 2019, in southern Mexico, next month.
The story revolves around local boy made good Richie (played by Henley), who conquers the Kiwi rock scene then finds stardom in Hollywood, and his sister/manager Hinemoa (Umbers).
When Richie returns home he meets obsessive fan Dale (Parmenter), triggering a series of events that ends, quite literally, in a cliff-hanger.
Writer and director Harley Alexander (Kerikeri) said the film was made on a limited budget with support from local businesses and venues and almost 100 Far North residents as extras, stunt co-ordinators, costume designers, make-up artists, concert stagers and crew.
Northland Land Search and Rescue volunteers also helped out by suspending one of the actors from a vertical rock-face at Wairere Boulders, in South Hokianga, for the film's climax, treating it as a training session.
"For most of our crew and actors this was the first time they had been on a film set, and they were 100 per cent committed to making a cool little film," Alexander said.
"The driving theme of the story was the idea that if you've had success in life, you really should give something back. The cast and crew latched onto that concept and brought it to life in a confident and quirky way."
Midriff is a co-production by the Kerikeri Theatre Company and Alexander's film-making company Creative Cavalry.
The movie will have its New Zealand public premiere at Cathay Cinemas in Kerikeri later this year as a fund-raising event for Kerikeri Theatre Company.
Alexander said he had submitted it to several other film festivals so he was hoping to hear some more good news soon.
Oaxaca FilmFest has been running for 10 years. The 2019 edition will take place on October 4-10.