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This week Standing Room Only features stories about memories - and movies.  Trinity Roots' Warren Maxwell translated a trip to Antarctica ito a show called Where Memories Sleep, while poet Hadassah Grace remembered her time as a stripper in her collection How to take off your clothes.

The popular French Film Festival returns - though it was touch and go this year - and our top TV and movie funders are keen to create world-beating long-form screen drama.  Canadian First Nation film-maker Michelle Derosier is a keynote speaker at the Maoriland Film Festival, while Ruth Carraway creates stage drama out of prison and a women's toilet. 

Meanwhile textile artist Josh Hutchinson is inspired by old sweet wrappers, while Laugh Track guest Stephanie Laing is proud to be a quitter!  All this plus At The Movies, the Sunday Dramas and more.


12:38  Film and TV combine to make "high-end series drama" for the world

In terms of New Zealand screen story-telling this is pretty huge.  Raupapa Whakaari is a joint initiative from the two major funding bodies - television's NZ On Air and the New Zealand Film Commission, in partnership with writers' organisation Script to Screen - to develop "distinctive high-end series drama for the world". 

"High-end series drama" means Britains's Killing Eve and Bodyguard, Scandinavia's Borgen, The Killing and The Bridge, Germany's Berlin Babylon... not to mention Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and The Crown.  So this project is - to put it mildly - rather ambitious, and potentially, hugely expensive. 

How are we planning to take on the world, how much will it cost, and what will it be at the expense of?  Simon Morris talks to the CEO's of New Zealand On Air and the Film Commission - Jane Wrightson and Annabel Sheehan.

12:50  Animator Peter Monga catches an important eye

New Zealand animator Peter Monga and legendary animation company Aardman, of Wallace and Gromit fame,  are joining forces on a TV pre-school series.  All going to plan, it's destined to morph into a game, picture books and toys.

Morgan lives in a rocket house is about a boy marooned with his friends on an alien planet light years from Earth.

It's Peter's idea and is being produced by Auckland children's entertainment company Fuzzy Duckling Media.  But the UK's Aardman likes it so much it's agreed to both develop the series and distribute it. 

Lynn Freeman talks with Peter Monga and Fuzzy Duckling's Chrissy Metge, first asking Peter why he set Mogan adrift on a far away planet.

1:10 At The Movies

Simon Morris reviews The guilty, Everybody knows and Swimming with men

1:33  First Nation film-maker Michelle Derosier

Michelle Derosier

Michelle Derosier Photo: supplied

Canadian community activist, artist and filmmaker Michelle Derosier came to film after working with First Nations youth for ten years as a social worker.

Now she's coming to New Zealand to talk about how films can encourage our estranged young Maori and Pacific population to connect with their heritage .

Michelle's work includes The Grandfather Drum,  an official selection at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, and her latest movie Angelique's Isle. That tells the true story of Angelique Mott, a 17-year-old Indigenous woman abandoned along with her husband on an island in Lake Superior during the copper rush of the 1840s.

In the film Angelique is raised by her grandmother who follows traditional ways while her grandaughter is educated and Christian.  Lynn Freeman asks Michelle Derosier about her own childhood.

Michelle is a guest speaker at the Ngā Aho Whakaari Hui-A-Tau annual conference in Auckland on March 16, and she'll also attend the Māoriland Film Festival in Ōtaki.

1:45  The return of the French Film Festival

Next week sees the opening of the popular French Film Festival, taking place all over the country - 17 cinemas in 13 venues, from the big cities to Arrowtown, Martinborough and Havelock North.  

When the French Film Festival made its debut in New Zealand 17 years ago, it was just one of several regional film showcases.  Since then it's grown to be one of the biggest festivals in the country, second only to the New Zealand International Festival in July.  Audiences have gone up a staggering 700 percent since 2012. 

In fact the 2019 version is bigger than ever - but it very nearly didn't happen this year.   Simon Morris talks to two of the main organisers of the festival - Iain Macleod, who by day manages Wellington's Penthouse Cinema, and Nathalie Buckrell from the Alliance Francaise, and asks what happened?

The Festival kicks off this week and runs for two weeks in Arrowtown, Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Havelock North, Martinborough, Nelson, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Tauranga, Timaru and Wellington. The Opening Night at Wellington's Embassy Theatre takes place on March 12.

Click here for details.

2:06 The Laugh Track - UK comedian Stephanie Laing

Stephanie Laing

Stephanie Laing Photo: supplied

At a time when everyone's being encouraged to be the "best version of themselves" and "all they can be", it's quite refreshing to see a show that's all about giving up.

Acclaimed UK standup and writer Stephanie Laing makes her New Zealand debut this month with a show called Quitter.  

But is Stephanie really a quitter - and is quitting as bad as people make it out to be?  Stephanie Laing is here as part of the New Zealand Fringe, and she joins Lynn Freeman as our guest on the Laugh Track.

Stephanie's picks include Simon Amstell, John Mulaney, Taylor Tomlinson and Jeremy Hardy.

2:26  Ruth Carraway creates drama in jail - and toilets!

Ruth Carraway

Ruth Carraway Photo: supplied

Trouble-D is a play about the challenges, obstacles and enticements a recently released prisoner faces in the outside world.

It will be performed at Otago Corrections Facility at Milburn - where writer Ruth Carraway runs the prison drama group - as a first for the Dunedin Fringe Festival.

Ruth has actually got two shows in the Fringe.  The other's called Lavvies, set in a women's public toilet.

Ruth tells Lynn Freeman she's worked with prisoners here and in the UK, and she's a firm believer in the power of theatre to help both inmates and audiences.

She started the prison drama group about five years ago, and proceeds from Trouble-D will go to the Dunedin Night Shelter.  The show and Lavvies are both part of  the Dunedin Fringe Festival programme

2:40  Hadassah Grace's revealing poetry

Hadassah Grace

Hadassah Grace Photo: supplied

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Photo: supplied

How to Take Off Your Clothes is the first title from Dead Bird Books Publishing. And despite the challenging title, it's a serious work offering insights into an often hidden world.

It's a poetry collection by Hadassah Grace, a former stripper who's also written about sex work and acted for the Auckland Theatre Company.

The US-born Kiwi says wrote these poems through some tough years and some wonderful ones.

Hardassah tells Lynn Freeman she often writes from the point of view of being an outsider


2:50 Warren Maxwell and Jason O'Hara create an icy production

Massey University lecturers, musician Warren Maxwell and documentary maker Jason O'Hara, have collaborated on a cine-dance-music production, inspired by their trip to Antarctica in 2016..

Where Memories Sleep is incredibly hard to describe, blending Jason's visuals with sounds Warren recorded on the ice and then manipulated to create a soundscape.  After that dancers - on and off screen - interact with the combination of images and music.

Lynn Freeman talks to Warren and Jason, first asking how well they knew each other before heading down south:  

Where Memories Sleep premieres on Thursday the 21st of March at the SpacePlace in Wellington

3:06 Drama at 3 - The Fall of the Shah and Appointment with Samarra

More from two serials - the BBC account of the Iranian Revolution, The Fall of the Shah, and Part 3 of Stuart Hoar's thriller Appointment with Samarra.

3.50  Jay Hutchinson's embroidered trash

Dunedin-based embroidery and textile artist Jay Hutchinson has been turning the discarded wrappers he finds on his walk to work into lovingly crafted artworks.

He photographed them, then spent hours on each embroidered copy for an exhibition he's called On the Way to Work.

This Friday Jay's also in action in a simulated sweatshop working for 24 hours straight making t-shirts, coinciding with the start of Dunedin's Fashion event ID.

Lynn Freeman talks with Jay Hutchinson about what he calls "embroidered trash".

On the Way to Work's on show now at Olga Gallery in Dunedin,  and this Friday  at 5pm,  Jay Hutchinson will start work at the t-shirts at Company Store on George Street.  Donations for the work go to Women's Refuge.

Music played in this show

Artist: Barbra Streisand
Song: The way we were
Composer: Bergman-Bergman
Album: The Way We Were
Label: Columbia
Played at:  12.34

Artist:  Enya
Song: The memory of trees
Composer: Enya-Ryan
Album: The Memory of Trees
Label: WEA
Played at:  1.08

Artist:  Shangri Las
Song: Remember walking in the sand
Composer: Morton
Album: Myrmidons of melodrama
Label: RPM
Played at: 1.08

Artist:  Lucky Dube
Song: Remember me
Composer: Dube
Album: The best of
Label: Gallo
Played at:  1.42

Artist: Rod Stewart
Song: Thanks for the memory
Composer: Rainger-Robin
Album: Thanks for the memory
Label: JRecords
Played at:  1.58

Artist: George Jones
Song: If drinkin' don't kill me her memory will
Composer: Beresford-Sanders
Album: Anniversary
Label: Epic
Played at: 2.04

Artist:  Frank Ifield
Song: I remember you
Composer: Schertzinger-Mercer
Album: The complete A-sides
Label: EMI
Played at: 2.33

Artist: Sara McLachlan
Song: I will remember you
Composer: Egan-McLachlan
Album: Closer:  Best of
Label: Arista
Played at:  2.58

Artist: Madonna
Song: I'll remember you
Composer: Leonard-Madonna
Album: Something to remember
Label: Maverick
Played at: 2.58