Nayland College alumni launch doco about Kiwi rugby player in Japan
A young Maori rugby player in Japan tackling cultural isolation is the subject of a short documentary produced by three Nayland College alumni.
The three-minute documentary Union was released on video-sharing website Vimeo on Friday, showing Kiwi Jared James as he tries to find his feet in a new country.
Nelsonians Jericho Rock-Archer, Joshua Rollo and his brother Phillip Rollo, a Fairfax Media journalist, and Steffan Paton from Wellington have been working on the documentary for the past four months.
The story explores the power of rugby to bring people together, even when those people don't even speak the same language.
Rock-Archer said Asian media had been really interested in the documentary, with one of Japan's biggest newspapers The Asahi Shimbun sharing the film on its website.
"We're super proud of how it turned out, it's been a huge team effort."
Rock-Archer said Jared's team recently won the finals, and were headed to the nationals next.
"It's a great way for him to boost his profile and advance through the Japanese rugby team and to show people in Japan that there are other ways to get involved with the Japanese culture without doing traditional Japanese art and things."
The documentary is one of the 10 ideas this year funded by Loading Docs, a launch pad for New Zealand short documentary.
The Loading Docs initiative is funded by NZ On Air's Digital Media Fund with the support of the New Zealand Film Commission and Te Mangai Paho.
Rock-Archer and James had met on the plane to Japan, where they were both going to be English teachers. They kept in contact and became good friends.
The group decided it was a good base for a short documentary and travelled to Japan to shoot the whole thing in one week in April.
Rock-Archer said they had raised $3300 with their Boosted fundraising campaign, and Loading Docs had contributed another $4000 to the project.