Movie writer to visit theatres

SONIA BEAL
Last updated 09:42 28/09/2012
Kiwi Flyer

Kiwi Flyer

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Movie-goers with a ticket to see New Zealand feature film Kiwi Flyer in Blenheim or Picton tomorrow may also have the opportunity to hear co-writer Tony Simpson talk about it before the screenings.

The Christchurch-based director set off from Christchurch on Monday on a two-week roadtrip around New Zealand to promote the film's release.

He wraps up his loop of the South Island in Marlborough, visiting the Blenheim and Picton movie theatres, before heading north to Wellington.

The film, which opened in cinemas nationwide yesterday, is co-written by Simpson and children's television veteran Andrew Gunn.

It follows 12-year-old Ben (played by Edward Hall), who sets out to win the local trolley derby in memory of his late father. But while preparing for the race he is forced to battle with cheating opponents, dodgy loan sharks and a mother who has banned him from the race. The idea for the film came from Simpson's hometown of Nelson, where annual trolley races had been held for around 60 years.

He believed kiwi audiences would connect with the "home-grown" film and was keen to share it with families up and down the country.

"It's a good family film with a heart of gold," he said.

Simpson had taken his Kiwi Flyer caravan, with the Kiwi Flyer trolley that features in the film, around the South Island and talked at schools and cinemas.

The cast includes Tandi Wright (television's Nothing Trivial), comedian Dai Henwood (television's 7 Days) and Vince Martin, , the face of the Beaurepaires television ads.

Former Blenheim man David Paul is the film's director of photography.

Simpson has spent more than 25 years writing, directing and producing television and film projects in New Zealand.

Kiwi Flyer was the first New Zealand-made feature film for children to be released theatrically in more than two decades, he said.

So the tour was also an opportunity to promote the New Zealand Film Commission's support of Kiwi-made family films.

Simpson will be in Blenheim tomorrow to speak before the 10am screening at Top Town Cinemas, and the 1pm screening at Picton Cinema.

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- The Marlborough Express

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