A colourful New Zealand comedy/drama short film that captures a day in the life of Lily (Carter), a beautiful and caring Maori solo mum and her two high voltage children Tahi and Pipi. Lilly wants nothing more than to go on her date night but life gets in the way.
Interview with Writer/Producer Kahurangi Carter
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
My Mum, Robin is my hero. She raised four of us on her own and I wrote this story in honour of her and all single parents doing their best for their kids.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
This film will make you laugh and cry. A young indigenous, New Zealand mother of two high voltage children needs a well deserved night off... as her day unfolds she gets further and further away from her date. I'm a bit biased because my children act in the film, so I think you should watch this film because my kids are so darn cute and talented actors to boot!
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
I want to challenge people's generalisations and perceptions about mothers, singles parents and especially indigenous single parents.
There are themes of isolation, womenhood, parenthood and about finding your joy in the simple moments.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
This film started in a word document. I just sat and wrote not knowing what I was doing except that I knew what I wanted to say. I came into the film industry as an actor and writing a script is something I recommend to all actors as it helps you understand where the writer is coming from. I worked hard to develop it to be ready to shoot and then things stalled due to a lack of funding and practical support. I am part of the Loft Film Collective who were shooting an art house feature film I was acting in. We were filming on location and wrapped a day early.... so I printed off my script and at the wrap dinner sprung it on the remaining 5 crew. They loved the script and said let's make another film! So the next day, we shot 13 scenes, yes 13! True guerilla styles. Without the support of the Loft Film Collective this film would still be a script so a huge and humble thank you to my crew.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
The most important feedback for me was from my Mum and my siblings. That was the most nerve wrecking for me and anything after that was gravy. We screened at the March Du Film at the Cannes Film Festival where we were well received. I was lucky enough to be present for the screening at the Waiora Maori Film Festival which meant I got direct feedback from the audience, fellow film makers and the New Zealand Film industry and again the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. After the screening I had lots of single mothers come and thank me telling me they related to the story and loved that the main character held herself with dignity, that was pretty special for me. I was telling their stories and they loved it!
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
The feedback process has been an interesting ride as you realise different parts of your film mean different things to different people because of their own experiences and interpretations. This is a really exciting part of the feedback process for me because as a film maker you hope people will relate to your story and when they come at you with new levels it gives your work a life of its own.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I feel honoured to be interviewed and hope this inspires other women to get out there and make their films. As women it is harder to get these key roles, funding and support. So why not come at it like punks and just do it. Defiantly easier to say than do, but it is possible.
I want to give a voice to and represent indigenous women film makers. It frustrated me that there is a lack of indigenous stories. I used my frustration as my driving force and I took on the responsibility of making that content and putting it out there. Date Night is a story about women, for women so it was important to me that our key creatives were women. Our Director/ Writer/Producer and lead actor are women. I need to give a shout out to my amazing talented incredible director Amanda Phillips for being the quiet, calm force behind me and believing in me and to Jane Bucknell our script contributor who helped shape the film to what it is today. Wahine toa (warrior women).
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
We are currently submitting to festivals worldwide focusing on women in film and indigenous film festivals. Wairoa Maori Film Festival was fantastic to network with other indigenous film makers from around New Zealand, the Pacific, North America and Canada. They inspired me to get to international festivals so I can speak directly with distributors and buyers and to pitch our next projects.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I want to help uplift and give a voice to single parents, especially single indigenous mothers. I want them to watch this movie and feel like someone is representing their stories and can relate to their situation. I also want to inspire other film makers with little or no support to make it happen somehow, someway.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
What are the some stereo-types single parents, especially single Indigenous Mothers, face today?
When was the last time you heard someone say "their mother never taught them too" ...
Would you like to add anything else?
Thank you for this opportunity to speak about my film Date Night!
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
I have two films in development a feature Film, River Rats it is a coming of age story about a young half-cast girl who is caught between two cultures. We will film over the NZ summer of 2017/18.
My next project is a short film called Toto (blood) which is in pre-production and explores the belief that everything in the Maori world is sacred. I'm going to have a busy year!
Interview: June 2017
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
A colourful New Zealand comedy/drama short film that captures a day in the life of Lily(Carter), a beautiful and caring Maori solo mum and her two high voltage children Tahi and Pipi. Lilly wants nothing more than to go on her date night but life gets in the way.
Length: 10m 53s
Director: Amanda Phillips
Producer: Kahurangi Carter
Writer: Kahurangi Carter
About the writer, director and producer:
Lily:- Kahurangi Carter
Tahi:- Freddy Carter
Pipi:- Waiata Carter
Becks:- Sinead O'Flynn
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
Social media handles:
Funders: Self Funded
Made in association with: The Loft Collective
Where can I see it in the next month?
In the next month we will be busy submitting to festivals in New Zealand and internationally! So watch this space.