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NZ Film Plays The Odds

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
NZ Film Plays The Odds

A New Zealand feature film has adopted innovative ways of raising finance, by inviting people to donate a lotto ticket.

The Insatiable Moon, a film adaptation of the novel by the same name, will be shot in Auckland in November and December. It stars Whale Rider lead Rawiri Paratene as a charismatic psychiatric patient who announces himself as the second son of God.

Alongside him will be such international cast as Timothy Spall, James Nesbitt and John Rhys Davies. The film, set in Ponsonby, is to be directed by award-winning Scotsman Gillies Mackinnon.

Despite this stellar team, the New Zealand Film Commission has recently declined to offer the production any assistance. The producers, forced to drastically cut the budget, have opted to adopt one of the plot points of the quirky script. In this Arthur, the Maori hero, buys a lotto ticket in an attempt to save his boarding house which is threatened with closure.

"We're inviting ordinary New Zealanders to get a little crazy with us, and buy a lotto ticket in support of the film," says producer Mike Riddell. "Any winnings from the tickets will be used to finance the film. It's an idea just about mad enough to sit alongside the theme of the movie."

And in keeping with another feature of the film, the lotto draw targeted by the venture will be that of the next full moon, September 5th. Punters are invited to purchase a ticket in the week leading up to the draw, and post it to the producers. Full details are to be found on the website www.moonmad.co.nz.

Riddell describes the film as a quintessential New Zealand story, in which the little guys find ingenious was to survive despite the odds. But the fact that the project is a NZ/UK coproduction is a sign of the strong international interest in the script.

"If we can get the film made to the standard we're aiming for," says the NZ producer, "we are confident that it'll perform well at the box office. For that to happen, we're inviting people to have some fun with us and punt for the Moon."

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