Kiwi film maps human journey

02:03, Mar 09 2009
CREATIVE TALENT: Film writer, director and editor Harold Brodie says audiences will recognise many of the characters in his latest movie.

A new Kiwi movie with west Auckland connections opens on February 5.

The Map Reader is a coming of age drama by New Lynn film writer, director and editor Harold Brodie.

It tells the story of Michael, a map-obsessed 16-year-old whose life is changed by two young women, one of whom is blind.

"The film has universal themes but also includes local knowledge. It’s a character-driven story about how the participants interact in a small New Zealand community," Mr Brodie says.

"It’s a very accessible movie. People will recognise these characters from their own lives and may spot resemblances to themselves – all the human weaknesses, strengths and emotions are there."

Several scenes were filmed out west at locations including Titirangi and Muriwai.


New Zealand-born actor Rebecca Gibney and Shortland Street regular Bonnie Soper are among the leads.

The Map Reader has received positive reviews at festivals in the United States.

Mr Brodie has an interesting story of his own.

The American became interested in film at university in San Francisco where he first began to write screenplays before progressing to editing.

"I soon became hooked on the creative process of storytelling and developing characters," he says.

The process takes time.

"I start with the seed of an idea and gradually build on it. It’s often something personal to me – for example I am interested in maps and I used this to construct the character for this film."

Mr Brodie met his Kiwi wife in Texas in the 1980s and the couple lived in California before moving to New Zealand in 1992.

Their daughter Emma was born in 1995.

He says getting funding for a homegrown movie is difficult.

"It’s hard because there are so many others trying to do the same thing, and there are limited resources available."

The film will be shown at the Rialto, Berkeley and Academy cinemas.

Western Leader