Hundreds of locals packed Pongakawa School Action Centre overnight to get a glimpse of the community-resourced feature film ‘The Z Nail Gang’.
The Te Puke film that wrapped in March is based on true events around anti-mining protesters in the Coromandel in the 1980s.
Last night many volunteers who worked on the film and community members turned out at the school to view the first public screening of the film’s trailer.
Directed and produced by Pukehina husband-and-wife team Anton Steel and Kylie DellaBarca Steel, the film tells the tale of residents of a small coastal town living peacefully, before they receive a letter which changes their lives forever.
The letter announces the arrival of multi-national mining corporation,Golia Minerals.
Kylie says to make this film, she and husband Anton didn’t employ the ‘conventional model’ of film making.
“Because it’s a story about community, we wanted it to be an act of community to make it.”
From January to March, more than 400 residents gave up their time and resources for free to be a part of the film.
“As with the central characters of the film, we wanted to show how a community can pull together to mobilise creative momentum that both empowers and unites,” says Kylie.
The majority of key crew were Te Puke volunteers, with only a few technical roles filled by out-of-town film professionals.
Most key actors were cast from Auckland, with supporting and extra roles filled by Te Puke people, including Red Hats of Pukehina, the Highly Strung Ukelele Club and a class of children and parents from Pongakawa Primary.
The wardrobe department was fitted out by Te Puke op-shops, while Whakatane ITM supplied the various building resources for the art department.
Te Puke businesses and individuals gave access to a fleet of 16 character vehicles, including a helicopter, drill rig, NZ’s largest tractor and a yellow mini.
Kylie says the film will become known for its picturesque locations, with the crew accessing more than 20 different sets from homes and businesses within the community.
“We also loved being able to embrace learning and mentoring as part of our ethos. We invited 12-year-old Rose McMahon to join us as our key stills photographer and a team of children from Pongakawa Schools Film and Media Club filmed the action for our ‘Behind the Scenes’ and ‘Making of’ DVD features.”
A world premiere of ‘The Z Nail Gang’ will be announced in the coming weeks. A Bay of Plenty release is expected before the film is released nationwide.