Casting Completed on KIWI FLYER
Following intensive auditions, casting has now been completed on the feature film KIWI FLYER, with 34 out of 39 roles cast locally in Nelson.
Inspired by the Nelson Trolley Derby and shooting entirely in and around Nelson from August 19th – September 14th, KIWI FLYER is a feel-good movie for the whole family.
Director TONY SIMPSON comments: “We had hundreds of people from around Nelson attend our casting auditions and were amazed by the level of talent. Sadly, we can’t offer everyone a part, but the fact that we were able to cast so many roles from the region was a real thrill. We’ve also had excellent support from real Trolley riders and the Hot Rod Club."
The film stars EDWARD HALL (Legend of the Seeker) as 12 year-old Ben, who sets out to win the local trolley derby in memory of his father. In the process he learns what matters in life and how to heal a broken family when he is forced to battle cheating opponents, dodgy loan sharks and a mother who has banned him from the race.
JANE WINTER from Nelson’s Soundstage plays Shirelle and local boys DOUG COLLING and MYER VAN GOSLICA play her sons Shane and Shannon.
BRITTANY DICK and HANNAH GERMAN are the girls who have caught our heros' eye. MATT FRENCH is young loan shark, Stewie with DAVID DE THIERRY as his muscle Slug.
Ben’s mum is played by TANDI WRIGHT (Nothing Trivial) with comedian DAI HENWOOD (7 Days) as his teacher Mr Lumsden. Jazz Crooner VINCE MARTIN is Wayne, the Australian head of the opposition family and Auckland-based newcomer TIKIRAU HATHAWAY is Ben’s best friend, Jeff.
Director SIMPSON has worked on many international blockbusters including Willow; Vertical Limit and The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe. He co-wrote the screenplay with ANDREW GUNN, writer of all manner of children’s television, winning “Best Children’s Programme” in 1998 for his Beginners Guide To Space Travel and currently writing for What Now.
The film’s producer, TIM SANDERS, is one of New Zealand’s most successful filmmakers with credits including Whale Rider, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Frighteners and winner of two BAFTA’s, an Australian Film Industry (AFI) award, an MTV award and a Golden Globe nomination. Most recently he produced the intriguing television series This is Not My Life.
KIWI FLYER has been financed with kind assistance from the NEW ZEALAND FILM COMMISSION (NZFC); NZONAIR, MEDIAWORKS, NELSON CITY COUNCIL and THE VENTURE ACCELERATOR GROUP.