From Hawke's Bay to Eternity - a new Kiwi sci-fi movie featuring a rising Shortland Street star is gaining out-of-this-world attention from international film festivals.
Ten years ago, Alex Galvin never pictured himself in the director's chair. But the Wellingtonian's second feature film, Eternity, has made the cut for two prestigious film festivals in Cannes and St Tropez.
Galvin used to spend his days carefully crafting biographies for the recipients of New Year and Queen's Birthday honours - while dreaming that his novel would make the bestsellers list.
His published work reached some readers but it wasn't enough. So he took himself off to film school to become a screenwriter.
Part-way through the New Zealand Film and Television School course, the passionate storyteller realised he wanted to tell his story - his way.
After directing the school's film, he was snapped up to direct corporate work and was soon ready to cut his teeth on something bigger.
Galvin wrote, produced and directed, When Night Falls, which was released to more than 20 New Zealand cinemas in 2007. Critics called it an "atmospheric and alluring little chiller" with impressive production values. It gave Galvin the confidence to go bigger, again.
Eternity won a prime slot at this month's St Tropez Antipodes Film Festival with a Friday night showing. It has also been selected for the Cinema des Antipodes selection of Cannes Cinephiles, during the Cannes Film Festival in February.
Galvin said it was an honour to secure a showing at the festivals. "People say, where have you been but it's like anything, it's a lot of hard work before you get to the surface."
Eternity is a sci-fi thriller set in the near future. A police detective, taking part in a computer simulation, must solve a murder mystery to save his own life.
Filming took place in Wellington, Hawke's Bay, the Kapiti Coast and Hong Kong.
It combines Galvin's interests in science-fiction and Agatha Christie-type murder mysteries.
"It's a futuristic tale but also very much embedded in a classic style 1930s mystery."
Shortland Street actress Amy Usherwood plays Helpdesk, who has to assist players in the game world. It was great experience in front of the camera for her and she was excited to know some of her work would be shown at international festivals.
She hoped to attend the New Zealand premiere on November 9 at Hawke's Bay Opera House in Hastings, two years after filming began.
Eternity is scheduled for cinematic distribution throughout New Zealand in early 2013.
- Sunday Star Times