Kiwi actress Rima Te Wiata is slamming the proposed movie about the Christchurch Mosque attacks calling it "inappropriate" and "bad taste".
Te Wiata, who starred in Hunt For the Wilderpeople and is known for her impersonations, was appalled to hear the unveiled plans to make a dramatisation of the attacks that claimed 51 lives on March 15.
She said the exploitation of these events in dramatic form was inappropriate and exacerbates the pain of the Muslim New Zealanders dealing with a grief unparalleled in modern times.
"Most people would have thought this was completely obvious to international film makers."
The film was announced yesterday by the director Moez Masoud and Hollywood newspaper Variety reported that the film's tentative title is Hello Brother – the words spoken to the accused gunman as he entered the Al Noor Mosque and began shooting.
Film crew members had already visited Christchurch to meet officials and families of the victims of the shooting, as well as survivors and their families.
Te Wiata said it would be magnificent if filmmakers reconsidered their fast decisions and any prospective projects about these horrific events cease immediately.
"If filmmakers choose to continue, their films will fail because of the tikanga, the protocol, simply isn't there.
"The approach ought to be the other way around, in the community's own time, with their own decisions, and they can avoid being exploited," Te Wiata said.
She suggested a documentary as a better format for examination of losses of this scale.
"It would be the height of bad taste to see people win acting awards for a dramatisation of this real-life mass murder," Te Wiata said.
Al Noor Masjid spokesman Anthony Green found the movie talk "a little bit staggering".
Rick Castaneda, who co-wrote the script with Masoud, arrived in Christchurch on Monday.
He has already spoken with Imam Gamal Fouda, leader of the Al Noor Masjid, and survivor of the attacks.
Green also briefly met Castaneda yesterday and found him "sketchy" on details.
"No proper discussion has taken place. Just how it's got to this point is quite surprising, to be honest," Green said.
"I'm not interested in movies. The last thing I want is a Hollywood treatment or dramatisation.
"The critical thing for us is the protection of the dignity of people trying to get their lives back. So to Hollywoodise it … I'm not interested. It would go against everything we're trying to do."