Loud protests brought parts of Dunedin to a standstill on Saturday, October 15. Scenes for the movie One Winter, which is set during the 1981 Springboks’ tour, are being shot in the city, which has seen a large area south of the Octagon cordoned off.
Smoke wafted from the Bond St set, and old city buses bookended the streets as actors dressed as protesters and police officers faced off in an, at times, violent clash. Chants from the recreated protests were heard around the inner city.
The film stars Julian Dennison (Hunt for the Wilderpeople), Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting) and comedian Rhys Darby, and the first photo of the trio on location has just been released.
The New Zealand Film Commission says the film, written by Hamish Bennett (Te Arawa, Patuharakeke, Ngāi Tahu) and Sonia Whiteman, and directed by Paul Middleditch and Hamish Bennett, is a coming-of-age story set in Aotearoa New Zealand in 1981 when the arrival of the South African rugby team sets off nationwide protests against apartheid and racism.
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Dennison plays Josh Waaka, a 17-year-old who after being a passive bystander all of his life, is suddenly forced to stand up for himself, his family and his future.
“One Winter is a story of hope, courage and standing up for what one believes is right,” say directors Middleditch and Bennett. “It has been incredible to have such a stellar cast join us for this project and we have been blown away with what they have brought to the story.”
One Winter is also currently shooting in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. The comssion says ensuring production takes place in the story’s home of Ōtepoti Dunedin is integral to the project with consultation with mana whenua from the runaka / tribal councils of Puketeraki and Ōtākou continuing to be a key part of the filmmaking process.
The film is produced by Emma Slade, Sandra Kailahi and Angela Cudd (Ngāti Porou, Te-Whānau-Ā-Apanui, Ngāti Wai). Troy Lum is executive producer. Stacey Morrison (Ngāi Tahu, Te Arawa) has supported the film with iwi engagement as well as offering cultural guidance, however the commission says the key creative content that emerges from the partnership with the runaka of Ōtepoti is very much from those on the ground in that takiwā / district.
A spokesman for the production said the team was “really excited about One Winter”.
“It’s a special story that needs to be told. Dunedin, with its iconic architecture, is such an incredible backdrop for this important film.”
Filming, which included a residential area of Corstorphine, was expected to continue on Sunday.