Catchy lyrics coffee flick had $95 budget

19:35, Jan 28 2013
Director Dave Smith
CAFFEINE HIT: Director Dave Smith, centre front, and Andy Bassett, right, celebrate with cast and crew of Cappuccino Tango after winning the inaugural short film festival, Tropfest NZ.

As the crowd left New Plymouth's Bowl of Brooklands on Sunday night, almost half of them left singing "cappu, cappu, cappuccino".

The lyrics from Touching Cloth's winning Tropfest entry Cappuccino Tango were the kind that don't go away, and director Dave Smith said it was the film's writer who was to blame.

"When Andy Bassett came up with the idea and the music I could just visualise that it was one of those things that demanded to be heard as well as be seen," he said. "There'll be a few people cursing him over the next couple of weeks I'd say."

tdn coffee stand
Cast and crew from winning Tropfest entry Cappuccino Tango

Despite that, there is no denying the Taranaki-made work, which took out Best Film at New Zealand's inaugural Tropfest, had an impact on its viewers and the judges.

"It was fantastic to watch it up there on the big screen and great to hear the reaction from the audience who made noises at the right times. They did everything they were supposed to do."

The plot was based around two lonely decaf drinkers who overcame hostility and prejudice to find love in a society obsessed with coffee.


Smith, who celebrated birthday number 44 and a 19-year wedding anniversary yesterday, said he had been on Cloud Nine since the win.

The film, set in Ozone Coffee Roasters, was made on a humble $95 budget - $45 for the entry fee and $50 on coffee.

Its success came down to hard work and commitment from all those involved, Smith said.

As director, Smith won a five-day trip to Los Angeles in November where he will rub shoulders with film production company reps and tour studios.

It was an invaluable ticket into the industry, he said. "It really is intended to give you a foot up. It allows you to get people to talk to you, which is quite often the hardest thing to do."

Smith said there were a few feature film ideas floating around which he hoped to hone before arriving in the entertainment mecca.

The Taranaki crew also plan to work on a number of Tropfest 2014 ideas, as well as enter the V48Hours film festival again this year.

The Scotsman said it was unbelievable to have such a prestigious event here in Taranaki, and it wasn't half bad having a local entry take it out either.

"I personally think Tropfest was made extra special by being held here at the Bowl of Brooklands. It's given it such a great foundation that will only get bigger," Smith said.

Taranaki Daily News