From left, director Tony Simpson and producer Tim Sanders discuss production logistics as feature film Kiwi Christmas gears up for shooting.
A family feature film, Kiwi Christmas, which begins shooting this week will primarily be filmed in and around Orewa, Puhoi and further north at Te Muri Bay.
A large number of extras are expected to take part sourced from the local community.
The film is directed by Tony Simpson and marks the next chapter for the creative team behind 2012’s family comedy, Kiwi Flyer.
Written by Andrew Gunn, Tony Simpson and Dave Armstrong, the film is produced by double BAFTA award winner Tim Sanders (The Lord of the Rings:Fellowship of the Rings, Whale Rider, Kiwi Flyer). Oscar winning designer Grant Major has teamed with co-designer Ashley Turner and BAFTA winning editor John Gilbert is working with co-editor Scott Flyger.
The plot is about what happens when, fed up with the materialism of Christmas, Santa runs away to NZ for a summer holiday. When two Kiwi kids figure out who he is, they have to find a way to get him back to the North Pole in time for Christmas.
Finnish actor Kari Vaananen (Night on Earth) will play Santa with NZ actors Sia Trokenheim and Xavier Horan taking other lead roles.
The two children will be played by newcomers Samuel Clark and Luca Andrews; the supporting cast includes well known actors Troy Kingi, Laura Daniel, Wesley Dowdell, Will Hall and Ian Mune.
Kiwi Christmas is made with investment from the NZ Film Commission, Kiwibank and private investors. Madman Entertainment will distribute the film in NZ and Australia, and international sales will be handled by Scandinavian sales agency The Yellow Affair.
Filming is taking place from March 1–April 11.