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#statusPending NZ film premiere

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Independent New Zealand feature film, #StatusPending will have its NZ premiere on Tuesday May 21 at Wellington’s Embassy Theatre.

Starring and directed by Wellington-based film-maker Ben Zolno, #StatusPending is improvised romantic dramedy that explores the tensions and challenges that arise in relationships born in the digital age.

#StatusPending plays out over one crucial day in the life of Lizzie (Ivana Palezevic), a social-media obsessed baker. Lizzie has spent the past six months dating Ryan (Ben Zolno), an online travel business owner, whom she met on Tinder.

As Ryan pressures Lizzie to commit to more than a casual fling, Lizzie stumbles upon a once-in-a-lifetime, year-long trip around the world. With only a few hours to decide, Lizzie has to choose whether she wants to chase a life of adventure that looks perfect on screen or embrace the difficult realities that come from a real-life relationship. The film’s question explores whether relationships can survive an environment in which our self-worth is based on how we view our status through a lens of "likes, comments and shares".

#StatusPending is Zolno’s directorial debut and was born out of his own life experience. An ex-Californian resident, Zolno was looking to escape a world in which so many people were struggling to present the "perfect life" through social media. Settling in New Zealand after extensive travels, ironically, Zolno realised escaping this was harder than anticipated as he looked back at how he had presented his travel experiences.

"Technology plays constant part in our daily lives and our connectivity with the rest of the world," says Zolno, "but we haven't had the time as a society to absorb how this has impacted our relationships. While there are benefits, such as staying in touch with friends and family, there are potential risks of creating distorted perceptions of ourselves and others."

Having had a successful run on the international film circuit, #StatusPending’s New Zealand Premiere is being hosted by WLG-X: A Festival of Creative Collisions, as a taste of what the new festival has in store in September. Inspired by international events such as SXSW in Austin, Texas - WLG-X is part summit, part festival and explores the cross-overs between the worlds of technology, design, film and music.

WLG-X Film Curator, Bryan Glick, selected #StatusPending as it it is a film that incorporates humanity in a modern-day tech environment.

"I could not think of a better local indie to preview WLG-X", says Glick. "I was immediately attracted to the authenticity of voice. There is a grand playfulness at work that made me fall in love with these characters from the first frame. The lines between acting and reality blur in this contemporary Ameri-Kiwi mumblecore film."

The New Zealand premiere of #StatusPending will be held at Wellington’s Embassy Theatre on Tuesday 21 May. Tickets are available to the public now via or the WLG-X Facebook Page.

Note: Film contains nudity and scenes of a sexual nature.

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