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12:16  Developing our feature films - Leanne Saunders

Leanne Saunders

Leanne Saunders Photo: supplied

It's been a good year for New Zealand film-makers - Dame Jane's Oscars, Taika topping the charts with the new Thor epic, Sam Neill back where he belongs in a Jurassic movie, and Thomasin McKenzie starring on big and small screens.

But most of these are paid for by big overseas studios.   Are we doing enough with our own truly homegrown efforts?  

Are we making the right films, do they reflect who we are?  And should they do that, or should we simply aim at making big, fat hits.  After all, how hard can it be to try and guess what the public will want in the three or four years it takes to get a film written, produced and released?

Simon Morris talks with Leanne Saunders, the Head of Development and Production for the New Zealand Film Commission.  Her background is in production - she produced Born to Dance, The Devil's Rock and our biggest hit, Taika Waititi's Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

Upcoming cinema releases include dramas Muru,  Millie Lies Low and Punch, as well as documentaries Gloriavale,and More than Gold: Valerie Adams.


12:32   The Contemporary Arts Awards are announced in Hamilton 

A work called "Red" handed by multimedia artist Emma Hercus this year's $20,000 National Contemporary Art Awards.

The collage on MDF of an abstract masked figure with upraised hands, was chosen from more than three hundred entries. 

All the finalists' works are on show  at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato.

It's an event that's often hit the headlines since it started more than 20 years ago.  The media are notoriously sceptical of "modern art" and occasionally struggle to get their head around the winning work!

Lynn Freeman spoke to Emma and to the  judge, artist Reuben Paterson, who describes the winning piece as "a celebration of adversity".

    2022 Runner Up and winner of the $5,000 Hugo Charitable Trust Award
Raukura Turei for He Tukuna V (onepū, oil and pigment on linen).
    2022 Friends of Waikato Museum $1,000 Merit Award winner
Sara (Hera) Tautuku Orme for Ko Te Awa Ko Au -Darling (Darz) (photograph).
    2022 Random Art Group $1,000 Merit Award winner
Oleg Polounine for Dits and Dahs (aluminium foil sculpture).

12:45   A new production of Oscar Kightley's groundbreaking Dawn Raids 

A quarter of a century after its premiere, Oscar Kightley's play Dawn Raids - dealing with the injustice of the 1970's government crackdown on overstayers - is being reimagined.

The incident was still a raw, shameful memory when Dawn Raids was first performed in 1997.

But now for many it's become a piece of our history.  They may have barely heard of these events.  Even if they have, they may not realise the damage done to Pasifika families who were ripped apart by the early morning raids on their homes. 

Lynn Freeman talks with Troy Tu'ua, director of the new Pacific Underground and ATC c0-production of Dawn Raids

She first asked him how much he knew of the original raids.

Dawn Raids opens at the ASB Waterfront Theatre in Tāmaki Makaurau on August 16th.


1:10 At The Movies

Simon Morris reviews the documentary The Gardener, Ron Howard's Thirteen Lives and Paul Schrader's The Card Counter. 


1:31  Pianist Paul Lewis's Beethoven marathon

Paul Lewis

Paul Lewis Photo: supplied

In what's believed to be a first for Aotearoa, a pianist is playing the full Beethoven Piano Concerto cycle over three consecutive days in the same city.

Englishman Paul Lewis is undertaking the Beethoven marathon with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. 

Lynn Freeman caught up with Paul in Colorado where he was performing at the Aspen Music Festival, ahead of his trip to Aotearoa.   She asked him if he's also in training to perform the five Beethoven piano concertos on the trot.

Pianist Paul Lewis's Back to Back Beethoven three-nIght series starts on Friday August 12 in the Auckland Town Hall. 


1:45  Teenage Muslim poet and songwriter Sabreen Islam

Sabreen Islam

Sabreen Islam Photo: supplied

Sabreen Islam

Photo: supplied


Sabreen Islam revisits her teenage years when she was severely bullied, and describes her new-found peace of mind in her new self-published collection of poetry, spring clean.

Sabreen started writing these poems when she was 15. 

She's now about to turn 20, and the Muslim writer and singer-songwriter is studying law at the University of Auckland.

In spring clean, she explores the psychology of abuse and why so many victims can't leave the toxic relationships they're in.  

Sabreen reads one of the later poems and talks with Lynn Freeman about spring clean:




2:06 The Laugh Track - Ben Caldwell

021221  News  photo: Warwick Smith/STUFF    
Stand up comedy for small towns  -  Foxton Beach  -  Ocean Beach Eatery  -    performer, Ben Tito Caldwell.

021221 News photo: Warwick Smith/STUFF Stand up comedy for small towns - Foxton Beach - Ocean Beach Eatery - performer, Ben Tito Caldwell. Photo: WARWICK SMITH

The standup scene has really opened up over the last few years.  It's no longer all about Auckland.  Comedians and comedy venues have been popping up in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.   

Right now the fastest-growing community is also the most spread out.  The central North Island - from New Plymouth and Whanganui to Palmerston North and Hawkes Bay - is suddenly where it's at.   And a lot of that's due to today's guest - producer, entrepreneur and comedian Ben "Tito" Caldwell.

Ben moved to Manawatū five years ago but his influence now spreads everywhere - from the House of Laughs in New Plymouth to Hawke's Bay Comedy - and he joins Lynn Freeman on the Laugh Track.

Ben Caldwell' picks include local comics Kajun Campbell Brooking, Auntie Lianne,  Chris Ingham, Karen Leslie and Callum Wagstaff, as well as Justine Smith and Nick Rado.


2:25  Crime novelist J P Pomare and The Wrong Woman

J P Pomare

J P Pomare Photo: supplied

J P Pomare

Photo: supplied


A private investigator promised never to return to his home town. 

But when he belatedly decides to go back, it puts him on a crash course with his former friends and police colleagues.

The Wrong Woman is the fifth novel by expat crime writer J P Pomare, who currently lives in Melbourne.

In it he describes why his character Reid was forced to leave the town of Manson, and what lured him back ten years later.   

Lynn Freeman talks with Josh Pomare about how to construct a crime novel.

The Wrong Woman is published by Hachette.




2:38  Rolleston House - back by public demand

Rolleston House

Rolleston House Photo: supplied


Kiri Jarden

Kiri Jarden Photo: supplied

It was destined to be sold off by the Christchurch city council -  but a last minute change of heart means the heritage-listed Rolleston House is to be converted into a community arts venue.

It's getting a new name too, Toi Auaha.

When the council considered getting rid of the over 100-year-old building, local artists lobbied to keep it.  They worked with the council's Principal Arts Advisor Kiri Jarden, who heads the city's ambitious Arts Strategy Toi Ōtautahi.

Rolleston House was built in the late 1890s, and for most of its life it's been used as a hostel.

But Kiri Jarden tells Lynn Freeman that the building's been empty since the Youth Hostel Association closed its doors in 2019.   It had been due to be sold off before its last-minute reprieve.



2:49  Hastings cultural precinct

It's been a big wait and an even bigger investment.  But this weekend sees the official opening of the final piece of Hastings' cultural precinct, Toitoi -  the restored Municipal Building.

It's taken eight years to finish the earthquake strengthening for the over 70-year-old Category One heritage building.  Today the community was invited to come and explore it.

People from around the country who'd danced in the building's famous Assembly Hall from 1950 to when it was closed in 2014 were invited to do it again on the restored, original sprung dance floor.

Megan Peacock-Coyle knows the precinct well.  She's the Arts & Culture Manager for Hastings District Council and she talks with Lynn Freeman about the past - and now the future - of the Municipal Building.

3:06 Drama at 3 -  Stuart Hoar's The man who would be perfect

According to the Gospel,  The Man Who Would Be Perfect was advised to sell what he owned and give the proceeds to the poor. But that was a different time and place.  What about today in New Zealand? 

The Man Who Would Be Perfect by Stuart Hoar stars Paul Gittins as Peter Wellborn, Bernadette Doolan as Nancy, and Beryl Te Wiata as Mrs Mead.    The play was recorded by Ray Pavitte and produced by Dai Evans for RNZ National. 

3.50  Campervan Art Gallery

"Vallery" is a campervan transformed into a contemporary art gallery on wheels.  It's just headed out on its maiden voyage.

It showcases more than 50 works by 26 artists from the Manawatū, Whanganui, and Taranaki regions. 

Aimee Ralfini is the curator who's spent six months on the campervan's reinvention.

She takes a break in Tamaki Makarau, where she talks with Lynn Freeman about the mobile gallery.    Look out for Vallery in a  region near you!


Music played in this show

Artist: Theme
Song:  March Raiders of the Lost Ark
Composer: Williams
Album: The Spielberg Williams Collaboration
Label:  Sony
Played at: 12.12

Artist: Julie Fowls
Song:  Oran Nan Raiders
Composer:  Morrison
Album: Cuilidh
Label: Machair
Played at: 12.44

Artist: Brotha D and the Dawn Raid Family
Song: Say what you wanna say
Composer: Brotha D and the Dawn Raid Family
Album: Brotha D and the Dawn Raid Family 2
Label:  Dawnraid
Played at: 12.58

Artist:  Baby Dayliner
Song: Raid
Composer: Baby Dayliner
Album: Critics Pass Away
Label: Long Time Listener
Played at:  1.07

Artist:  Paul Revere and the Raiders
Song:  Indian Reservation
Composer:  Loudermilk
Album: Indian Reservation
Label:  Raven
Played at: 1.42

Artist: X Legged Sally
Song: Zippo Raid
Composer:  Vermeersch
Album:  Slow Up
Label: Subrosa
Played at: 1.58

Artist: I Roy
Song:  Musical Air Raid
Composer: I Roy
Album: The Magnificent Seven
Label:  Burningsounds
Played at: 2.05

Artist: Plainsong
Song: Raider
Composer: Matthews
Album:  N/A
Label: Universal
Played at: 2.58

Artist:  Steve Winwood
Song: Valerie
Composer:  Jennings-Winwood
Album: Chronicles
Label:  Island
Played at: 3.50

Artist:  Deborah Coleman
Song: They raided the joint
Composer:  Burley-Jordan
Album: Where Blue Begins
Label: Blindpig
Played at: 3.58