Late night Shopping brings out the stars

BRACED FOR STARDOM: Julian Dennison, who plays Solomon,  enjoys the limelight before the Shopping movie premiere at the Embassy.
BRACED FOR STARDOM: Julian Dennison, who plays Solomon, enjoys the limelight before the Shopping movie premiere at the Embassy.

Wellington's hottest stars braved a chilly night for the premiere of local film Shopping at the Embassy Theatre.

Family, friends and stars such as Bret McKenzie, Ladi6, Oscar Kightley and Taika Waititi mingled at the opening night of Kapiti film-making duo Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland's first feature film.

The award-winning writers and directors said Shopping might have already screened at the Sundance and Berlin film festivals, but this was the night that really counted.

IN THE AUDIENCE: Bret McKenzie and partner Hannah Clarke at the premiere.
IN THE AUDIENCE: Bret McKenzie and partner Hannah Clarke at the premiere.

"We can't wait to show everyone - our friends and family who have talked to us for six years about the making of it," Albiston said.

The loosely autobiographical movie, set in 1981, follows a young Kapiti boy seduced into a gang of shoplifters by a charismatic criminal.

The reaction of the New Zealand audience would be the film's true test, Sutherland said.

RUGGED UP: Movie director Taika Waititi with Chelsea Winstanley.
RUGGED UP: Movie director Taika Waititi with Chelsea Winstanley.

"For it to be enjoyed and shared by Kiwis means a lot more to us than anything else."

The premiere was also a chance to reunite the cast and crew. For many of the young lead actors, including Kevin Paulo (Willie), Laura Peterson (Nicky) and Julian Dennison (Solomon), it was their first experience of the red carpet.

Dressed in his best, 10-year-old Julian was at home among the glitz and glamour with his mum and sister. His twin brother, whom he pipped for the role, remained at home.

The Naenae Primary pupil was nervous about people watching his portrayal on screen.

"It's kinda like it's me, but it's not me."

Waititi and partner Chelsea Winstanley said that though neither had worked with Albiston or Sutherland, both were long-time "admirers from afar".

The Dominion Post