Series Classification: M (Contains Themes relating to Sexual Harassment )
A waitress finds herself unable to speak up when put in a harmful situation by a customer in a position of power.
Writer/Actor: Rhiannon McCall
Rhiannon McCall (26) is a writer, actor, and comedian based in Tāmaki Makaurau. She is Pākehā with Samoan and Cook Island ancestry, and a rising star of the stage and screen in Aotearoa (just ask her Dad). Rhiannon has a fiery passion for telling strong women centric stories that challenge the audience’s beliefs and way of thinking, she does this through both her comedic and dramatic writing.
Most recently Rhiannon starred in TVNZ On Demand’s Snort Live and RNZ’s The Citizen’s Handbook. She’s also had guest star roles on THREE’s Dai’s House Party, Golden Boy, Jono & Ben, and Funny Girls. In 2017 Rhiannon entered the HP 48Hours film making competition with a short film which she co wrote, co directed, and starred in. The film came third overall and Rhiannon was awarded Best Actress.
Her recent theatre work includes her debut solo show Eat Slay Love at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival 2019, and Lust Island which won “Best Comedy” at the Auckland Fringe Festival 2020.
Earlier this year Rhiannon was working on Golden Boy as a writing assistant, and TVNZ’s Have You Been Paying Attention? as a gag writer.
“My hope with sharing our short film, Waitress, is that audiences will watch and gain an understanding into some (among a plethora) of the reasons why victims stay silent. We wanted to tell this story through the perspective of our protagonist, Lauren. It isn’t graphic or sexy or titillating; it’s an honest story about something huge that happens in a small moment, then life goes on. I am so grateful to our incredible cast and crew who selflessly came on board to help us tell this story. Thank you for your time, hard work, and generosity. Ngā mihi nui.”
Producer: Casey Latch
Casey Latch (24) is an Auckland based Production Manager and Coordinator. After studying a Bachelor of Communication Studies majoring in Television and Screen Production and Bachelor of Business conjoint degree at AUT, Casey began work as a full time Production Assistant with Screentime New Zealand, working across a number of factual and docu-drama series. Since then she has coordinated on series’ including Wife Swap NZ, and TVNZ 2’s ‘Have You Been Paying Attention’ as well as Production Managing web series’ Snort: Live and TVNZ2 Comedy Special Stand Up Aotearoa.
Casey has a mind for production and is passionate about story-telling through a visual medium and is thrilled to be on board Waitress as Producer.
“Making Waitress has been a huge learning experience and a real labour of love for those involved. Being part of a female filmmaking team and telling a female centric story is something that I’m hugely passionate about, and it has been a key reason as to why this film felt like an important project to be a part of. Rhiannon’s script tells an all too common story in an affecting way that we hope will translate to screen and make audiences think hard about the way we treat women and victims in our society. Getting to work with the incredible team who generously gave their time to bring this to life has been the greatest gift of this experience for me, and I look forward to sharing the fruits of their mahi with those who view the film.”
Actor: Ella Hope-Higginson
Ella Hope-Higginson is a Bristol born, Tāmaki Makaurau based actor, writer and filmmaker. Ella graduated Toi Whakaari: New Zealand drama school in 2016 with a Bachelor of Performing Arts. During her time studying she made her first student film The Palm Reader which was shot entirely in her parents’ chicken coop and selected for the Discover Film Festival in London.
As an actor herself, Ella has worked extensively across film, theatre and television. Her recent credits include feature films: The Stolen, The Rehearsal and Ablaze. Ella’s broad experience on film sets has allowed her to observe and learn firsthand from some of Aotearoa’s most established and talented filmmakers.
Ella is also an exciting and thoughtful playwright. The first play that she wrote and co-directed was selected for PlayMarket’s Playwrights B4 25. Her second play was funded for development through the Auckland Theatre’s Literary program, and her third work was staged as part of Centerpoint Theatre Sunday Script Sessions. Most recently, Ella collaborated with Two Productions in Christchurch to create GoldFish Girl for 'theatre live online'. This program showcased three new theatre works being live streamed simultaneously to an in person and online audience. Ella also stretched her online creative muscles during the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. During which she co-created and directed Sidekick; an online improvised comedy web series set over a video call between two superheroes. Ella has also worked across film and theatre as a director. Alongside Waitress, Ella has two other short films My Boyfriend and Still life currently in post production. Last year Ella was selected as one of nineteen filmmakers working on the book to screen adaption of Headlands: New Stories of Anxiety.