Rotorua's Coffin Club is starring in a brand new documentary, with a twist.

Award-winning filmmaker Briar March has directed the short documentary titled The Coffin Club with all the characters singing and dancing musical-style.

After starting the Rotorua Coffin Club in 2010, Katie Williams said interest in people getting together to build their own DIY coffins - with the aim of helping people feel in control to the end - had seen many other clubs pop up around New Zealand and she had had inquiries from all over the world.

Read more: Kiwi Coffin Club gets interest 'all over the show'


Members of the Coffin Club were shown the film at an Oscars-style red carpet premier event in Rotorua earlier this week.

"We saw it, it's absolutely fabulous, we were all blown away," Mrs Williams said. "All of our stars were there for the red carpet do. It was a magical night for a whole bunch of oldies.

"They came down from Auckland this documentary team. They told us it was too good for an ordinary doco and it had to be a musical.

"It was very funny and I think very fair as well. I never dreamed we would get so much attention," she said.

Mrs Williams said the club would also feature on a BBC show in the future after the United Kingdom-based media corporation visited the club earlier this week.

"It's gone worldwide, we can't believe it."

Director Briar March said the documentary was a lot of fun to film and put together.

"It was the people who drew me in," she said. "When I met them they were exceptional people with an amazing sense of humour.

"Katie has set the wheels in motion for other clubs around the country and the world - she sparked this all off."

Ms March said her own concerns around death and dying were also a catalyst for the film.

"Thinking about it and talking about it did not come easy for me so I was inspired by the members of the club who had brought this into the conversation and I had a lot of fun with it.

"It was not morbid at all, and they were taking control of their mortality and celebrating their lives.

"How they support each other as a community is amazing. They have beautiful friendships and look out for each other."

She said the only trained actor in the three-minute film was the funeral director.

"We hope it will raise awareness around the issue of ageing and thinking about death, but also inspire people around the world to set up their own clubs."

The Coffin Club is one of 10 films being released today online at