A full-length movie shot on a Northland dairy farm will be shown in festivals around the country before it opens in cinemas.

The film, called Northland, and directed by school teacher Hamish Bennett, was shot over four seasons on Whangārei District Council Councillor Shelley Deeming and husband Dennis' dairy farm in Maungakaramea.

Shooting finished on Monday this week and the film is now being edited.

The 90-minute movie is based on the life of dairy farmers and was shot over 25 days beginning in January. And it has some big names in the cast, including Rachel House and Marshall Napier.

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Bennett said the crew shot for six days in January, 13 in March and the last six days during the current calving season.

"It's a film with a big heart and celebrates rural farm people and where I grew up in. The inspiration for me came from my neighbours in Tauraroa who were dairy farmers.

"I just liked them as people and wanted to celebrate them as people. Northland is an extension of Ross and Beth, a short film I shot in Ruakākā in 2014 with an adult farming couple who dealt with a sudden upheaval in life," Bennett said.

Production crew of Northland on the last day of shooting at the Deemings' farm in Maungakaramea. Photo/Tania Whyte
Production crew of Northland on the last day of shooting at the Deemings' farm in Maungakaramea. Photo/Tania Whyte

Born in Christchurch, Bennett grew up in Tauraroa near Whangārei before moving to Auckland when he was about 30. He took a year's leave to direct Northland.

Bennett taught at Maungakaramea School and the film's crew set up its production office at that school during the shoot.

He said the local community had been fantastic and although it was sad to leave them, Bennett was excited to know that Northland would be shown in film festivals and cinemas.

Some of the film's cast are Northlanders such as award-winning Whangārei actor House who is from Kamo and 12-year-old boy Kahukura Retimana from Oakura.

Bennett's first short film was called The Dumped which was shot at a transfer station in Tauraroa in 2011.

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The 10-minute film featured an 11-year-old boy and his father who worked at the transfer station.