Must-see TV: Find Me A Maori Bride

Taken from NZ Herald.

No, it's not the Maori TV answer to The Bachelor NZ. Though there are plenty of moments in the early episodes of Find Me A Maori Bride just as excruciatingly hilarious as the recent reality show.

Only this time they are intentional - Find Me A Maori Bride is a mock reality series, one that has much fun skewering the fly-on-the-wall genre.

Fortunately, the makers of Find Me A Maori Bride have had some practice with that, having done the same on Auckland Daze, which mocked a bunch of struggling actors and their fragile egos.

Fans of Daze will find a lot to like here. Folks who don't like flash Aucklanders will too.

Read the full article here.

Westside: Outrageous Fortune rewinds the clock

Taken from NZ Herald, by Lydia Jenkins.

It opens at Mt Eden Prison, January 24, 1974, with Ted West walking out of the gate, finally free. He's all sideburns and leather jacket, mixed with a cheeky grin and sidelong glance. It turns out he's been inside for three years, having copped the sentence for the bungled burglary of a safe at Smith & Caughey's.

Yes, Ted West, criminal mastermind, is back. But it's not Outrageous Fortune, season seven. The original show's creators Rachel Lang and James Griffin have turned back the clock to find Ted in his prime. He's a charismatic 30-something, with a firecracker of a wife in Rita, and an 11-year-old son,Wolf, who's already showing signs of following in his father's footsteps.

There are lamingtons and screwdrivers, sausage rolls and crates of beer, lots of orange, lots of brown, vintage Holdens and Fords. This is Westside, the tale of Ted, his family and his gang, cruising and bruising through the 1970s.

Lang and Griffin never expected to return to the notorious West family - as Lang says, after they finished Outrageous Fortune in 2010, they were "really quite shagged". But though she was looking for a local historical criminal event to base a new series on, the idea for Westside popped up.

Read the full article here.

What Now’s new presenter Bianca Seinafo

Taken from

Bianca Seinafo has just been named as What Now's new presenter. She tells James Croot a bit about herself and what she's most looking-forward to in her new role.

Firstly, congratulations Bianca. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in Bromley, Christchurch with a household of three brothers and two sisters, so my parents had their very own version of The Brady Bunch. Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my wonderful church family - The Tafesilafa'l Community. This is where I got to strut my stuff on the Sunday school stage, I guess you can say. That's where my love for performance started. I love eating, laughing and spending time with my family.

What made you decide you wanted to be a What Now presenter?
Reading the job description and thinking back to when I was a kid watching. I knew I wanted to be part of the chaotic, funny, quirky and fast-paced world of What Now. The biggest factor in my decision to putting myself forward, was my two gorgeous nephews Cassius and Corleone. They watch the show and LOVE IT, so being able to say Aunty Bee is going to try and be on What Now and them seeing me pursue a goal of mine, was definitely very motivating!

Read the full interview here.

Ex-Shorty star fights off big screen zombies

Taken from NZ Herald, by Dominic Corry.

Chances are you've seen Mike Edward's face on television in the past 15 years. And if you've seen his face, you've probably seen his chest, too. A perennial small-screen presence from City Life to Nothing Trivial, Edward is perhaps most recognisable as Shortland Street villain Zac Smith.

Now Edward is putting his TV experience to good use in the new local film, I Survived A Zombie Holocaust, which hits cinemas on Friday, when it will be released simultaneously on DVD and on Video On Demand (VOD).

The low-budget Kiwi horror comedy presents a spin on the crowded zombie genre - it's about a zombie film shoot that is overrun by actual zombies. Edward plays the egotistical lead actor of the film-within-a-film, a would-be action hero whose real-life failings are laid bare when things get hairy.

Having played more than his fair share of "hunks" thanks to his Spartacus-ready physique, Edward relished the opportunity to subvert those kinds of characters in the film.

"The second I got the script I went: 'Wow. I can play that total cliche [of the action hero], and also the real human under that that's insecure and weird and has some issues'. So I can get to play both. I remember in the audition script, he busts down a door and his shirt comes open. So you just go with it.

Read the full article here.

I Survived a Zombie Holocaust set for multi-platform NZ / AUS release

Movie fans will get the chance to see the first Kiwi zombie film since Peter Jackson’s iconic Braindead when Vendetta Films release I Survived A Zombie Holocaust simultaneously in Cinemas, VOD and DVD in New Zealand and Australia on May 22nd.

Funded by the NZFC’s Escalator Initiative and 4 years in the making, the film enjoyed a remarkable festival run which saw it premiere to 3 sold out screenings and rave reviews at the London Fright Fest. After playing in other high profile genre festivals including Sitges and LA’s Screamfest, I Survived A Zombie Holocaust went on to win the Independent Spirit Award at Sydney’s Night Of Horror International Film Festival and was voted one of the worlds top ten genre films of 2014 by popular UK film site Nerdly.

Mixing the inventive, early career splat-stick of Peter Jackson and the rollicking humour of Shaun of the Dead, I Survived A Zombie Holocaust takes an inventively fresh satirical bite out of the zombie genre. The film follows the crew of a low budget zombie movie as it gets caught in the middle of a real, rapidly spreading zombie apocalypse. As funny as it is frightening, I Survived A Zombie Holocaust will make you bust a gut…literally.

The newly released trailer for the film can be viewed HERE.

Find ongoing updates and news for the film via the Facebook page.

The film is available for pre-order in different formats below:

iTunes Download:
DVD (New Zealand):
DVD (Australia):

Or you can see the film in select Cinemas here:

Auckland 8:30pm 23/5 – Academy:
Wellington 8:30pm 22/5 - Paramount:
Dunedin 8:30pm 25/5 - Rialto:
Palmerston North 8:30pm 22/5 - Downtown Cinemas:
Pukekohe 8pm 25/5 - Cinema 3:

Dancing with the Stars full line up revealed

Taken from NZ Herald.

Heavyweight boxer Shane Cameron, broadcaster Simon Barnett and former Bachelor contestant Chrystal Chenery have been confirmed to join a new reboot of Dancing With The Stars, as the full line up is revealed.

The announcement confirms a Herald on Sunday story this week, which reported Pam Corkery, Maz Quinn, Siobhan Marshall, Teuila Blakely, Colin Mathura-Jeffree and Ben Barrington had signed up for the new series.

Radio host Jay-Jay Harvey was the first contestant to be announced last week. She will partner with South African dancer Enrique Johns, who she has already nicknamed "Brown Sugar".

No official launch date has been announced for the popular dance contest but the Herald understands it is due to launch at the end of this month.

Read the full article here.

What We Do in the Shadows tops US iTunes charts

Taken from NZ Herald.

Kiwi vampire flick What We Do in the Shadows has earned more than $600,000 through digital downloads during its first week of release in America.

Variety reports the mockumentary, directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, has earned US$463,000 ($625,000) in its first week and has become the number one comedy on iTunes.

It is the sixth most popular film overall, alongside major blockbusters like 50 Shades of Grey and American Sniper.

Read the full article here.

The Next Stage: Call for submissions

Auckland Theatre Company is committed to developing New Zealand playwrighting through The Testing Ground (our monthly workshop programme ); commissions; the ATC Patrons Playwrights Award; and, The Next Stage Festival of New Work. It’s a commitment ATC will continue when it move into the new 650 seat ASB Waterfront Theatre in 2016.

“But big stages need big ideas. So, The Next Stage Festival of New Work 2015 is an opportunity to work with ATC to develop bold and theatrical story-telling ideas that speak to us about life in our city and what it means to be a New Zealander.”
- Colin McColl, Artistic Director.

Auckland Theatre Company’s Literary Unit is calling for submissions of full length plays, either original works or adaptations, for its annual national festival of new work.

The Next Stage is one of the most well-resourced professional play development processes in New Zealand. Selected plays receive a 10 day workshop followed by a season of 2 public presentations 13 - 15 November 2014.

Plays which have been part of The Next Stage and gone on to receive professional productions by ATC include: A Doll's House by Emily Perkins, Paniora! by Briar Grace-Smith, Trees Beneath the Lake and On the Upside Down of the World by Arthur Meek, Black Confetti by Eli Kent, At the Wake and My Name is Gary Cooper by Victor Rodger, and Le Sud by Dave Armstrong.

Work by playwrights living in New Zealand and resident playwrights living abroad is eligible. Playwrights must be available to be in Auckland for the duration of the workshop 2 – 15 November. Please note that scripts should be well-developed i.e. at least at 2nd Draft. One Act plays will not be considered, apart from solo shows.

Checklist for Submissions
  • Your script.
  • Short synopsis & logline.
  • Playwright biography & writing CV.
  • A brief history of development, including all workshops/readings, noting key cast & director.
  • Notes from the playwright about what they aim to get from a workshop including an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the current draft.
  • A stamped addressed envelope if the script is to be returned.
  • Evidence of rights if the work is an adaptation.
  • Playwright contact details: phone, email & physical address.

Deadline for Submissions
24 July 2015

Address Submissions to
The Next Stage
Auckland Theatre Company
PO Box 96002
Auckland 1342

Please direct any questions to Philippa Campbell, Literary Manager

The Inland Road leads to home

Taken from Screen NZ.

Jackie van Beek and producer Aaron Watson both hail from southern stock so it was natural that van Beek’s first feature, The Inland Road, shot around Queenstown.

Shooting away from home (van Beek is Auckland-based) wasn’t the easiest decision, but it proved a good one.

As with many first features, The Inland Road has been a long time coming. The script was on the way for several years. In 2013, van Beek was awarded the first residency from Film Otago Southland’s writer-in-residence programme, and spent her time at Rees Valley Station, near Glenorchy.

“It’s hard to sit in Freeman’s Bay and write about farm life,” she told Queenstown’s Mountain Scene before shooting began. “The Rees Valley is very inspiring.”

The residency was part of a plan Film Otago Southland’s Kevin Jennings has been slowly implementing to draw more local work to the region. Many TVCs and international features have shot in the region, but far fewer local features. When Guy Pigden’s soon-to-release comedy I Survived A Zombie Holocaust shot in Dunedin as part of the NZFC’s Escalator scheme, it was the first feature made there since Rob Sarkies 1999 Scarfies.

“It all starts with the writer,” Nick Ward told Jennings during a trip to the region. If more writers have time to immerse themselves in Southern culture, the scripts will be more real. Given the very high proportion of NZ titles made by writer-directors, getting those people enthused about shooting in the region can’t hurt either.

She had had a number of shorts previously supported by the Commission, including the award-winning Go the Dogs and Uphill, which last year won WIFT International’s Short-Case award and a Show Me Shorts gong for van Beek as Best Actress. (She also won Best Supporting Actress at last year’s NZ Film Awards for What We Do in the Shadows.)

Read the full article here.

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre to pop up in NZ

Taken from NZ Herald.

William Shakepeare's famous Globe Theatre is heading to Auckland next year; as the world marks 400 years since the playwright died.

A full-scale temporary pop-up theatre will be located in the central city and open to the public early next year. It will be a full-size working replica of the second Globe Theatre in Bankside, London, and is a world first.

The man behind the idea is UK-trained doctor of Shakespeare, Miles Gregory.

Read the full article here.
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