Red Carpet rolled out for 2013 RAFFA Awards

2013 RAFFA Winners

The 2013 RAFFA Winners

Talented local filmmakers gathered at the Raglan Old School Arts Centre on Saturday for the 2013 Red Carpet Awards Night.

Celebrating the achievements of local filmmakers and actors, the evening marked the grand finale of the Raglan Film Festival.

Guests were treated to a delicious buffet dinner and a showing of RAFFA-nominated films, before the 2013 winners were revealed.

This year’s RAFFA Awards were presented to:

  • Music Video Award: Cornerstone Roots for Take Me Through My Life.
  • Best Director Award: Ben Lenzner for The Backwards Rider.
  • Best Actress Award: Vanessa Moltzen in Restless.
  • Best Short Film Award: KASM and Juan Duazo for A Hoe Coastal Journey.
  • RAFFA Feature Film Award: James Brown for Red, White Black and Blue.
    Young Talent Award: Mungo Bates for Déjà vu Skate.
The 2013 RAFFAs

The 2013 RAFFAs

For the first time in the history of the awards, each winner was presented with a cash prize, as well as a custom-designed trophy from local steel artists Philip and Emily Meek. Winner of the Young Talent Award, Mungo Bates, was presented with $200.
Certificates were also presented to the following RAFFA nominees, in recognition of the high-quality calibre of their entries:

  • Dave Duffin and Kurt Oram for Roy Stuart, Surfer.
  • Mike O’Neill and Lyn Kriegler for Khushi.
  • Juan Duazo for Silent Might
  • Micah Puklowski for Restless.

Young filmmakers Joe Blaikie (left) and Mungo Bates (right) arriving for the awards night

The organisers of the festival wish to thank: the Raglan Soccer Mums for their tasty catering; Lucretia Perkins for serving refreshments; paparazzi Jwan Milek for capturing all the red carpet action; MC Ruth Port; festival sponsors DroidWorx, Stendy Electrical, PiwiWiwi Campers, Grolsch Beer, Whaingaroa Environment Centre, Creative Communities NZ (Waikato District), Raglan Club and Raglan Community Radio; the filmmakers for sharing their talents and the Raglan community for supporting this year’s festival.

Opening night of Raglan Film Festival

Director James Brown gets ready to take a photo of the Melville High Rugby team

Director James Brown gets ready to take a photo of the Melville High Rugby team

We screened the first of the RAFFA nominees on Friday evening including Red, White, Black and Blue. Had the film’s Director James Brown along to introduce the film. Also had the Melville High rugby team, who feature in the film come along. Great night!



Read James Brown’s blog about it:

Top Picks of the 2013 Raglan Film Festival

Bringing thought-provoking, inspiring movies right to your doorstep, the 2013 Raglan Film Festival takes place 13-22 September. Here’s a brief taster of what lies ahead.

Red White Black BlueThe festival opens on Friday 13 September with a screening of some of the Raglan Film Festival Awards nominees, including the feature Red, White, Black and Blue, an uplifting tale about the exploits of a group of urban Los Angeles students travelling around New Zealand – and Raglan – on a rugby tour. (Friday 13 September, 8pm.)

RemembranceBe moved by the tale of Hannah and Tomasz, who find love in a German concentration camp only to lose each other amidst the chaos of the last days of war. Remembrance is a love story set against the backdrop of the darkest of times. (Saturday 14 September, 4.30pm & Friday 20 September 8pm.)

1763_haute-cuisine-640Girl’s night out with a difference? Don’t miss delicious French comedy Haute Cuisine, based on the real-life story of the personal chef to former French president François Mitterrand. The Saturday evening showing features an indulgent tasting menu on sale from personal chef Mauro.(Saturday 14 September, 8pm & Sunday 15 September, 4.30pm.)

gardening with soul sister loyola waters her garden 1Green-fingered types will love the funny and moving portrait of 90-year-old Sister Loyola Galvin in Gardening with Soul. (Sunday 15 September, 8pm & Friday 20 September, 4.30pm.)

Arctic SonIf you enjoyed This Way of Life, put Arctic Son on your must-view list. This documentary shares the candid, inspiring story of one family’s life in the remote wilderness of Alaska. (Thursday 19 September, 4.30pm.)

TrashedGet a first-hand glimpse of the world’s waste problem with actor Jeremy Irons in Trashed. This documentary sees Irons travel the world to discover the extent and effects of our ever-growing rubbish mountain. (Thursday 19 September, 8pm.)

A screening of selected RAFFA winners will take place on Sunday 22 September at 1.30pm. Gold coin donation.

And don’t forget, the Old School has wine, beer, hot drinks, juices and delicious homemade treats for sale at every movie.

Ticketing details

Adults $11, children $6
Film festival movies are often popular, so it’s recommended you reserve tickets in advance. For all bookings phone 07 825 0023 or email

RAFFA 2013 Entry: Red, White, Black and Blue

Morning catch at Whaingaroa

Morning catch at Whaingaroa

The ever-popular Raglan Film Festival returns to the Old School Arts Centre in September. Here, we take a look at one of the festival’s confirmed screenings – Red, White, Black and Blue – a documentary that has won international acclaim and was partly shot in Raglan. The Waikato sequence features a game played at Raglan between a visiting boys rugby team from Los Angeles and the Melville High School rugby team.

When it comes to rugby, New Zealand is the undisputed champion of the world. But did you know – the game was once an Olympic sport and when it was last contested at the Games in 1924 it was the USA who walked away with the gold medal?

As rugby becomes an increasingly popular sport in the US, New Zealand is a dream destination for a group of rugby-playing Los Angeles students. Led by former international rugby player Stuart Krohn, Red White Black and Blue follows the students as they travel from the inner city to the green playing fields of New Zealand.

Amidst the rough and tumble of the game, qualities are tested and characters formed. We meet Cameron, a six-foot-four superstar in the making, already coveted by American football scouts but with a natural talent for rugby. And Ebony – an academic high-achiever nervously awaiting responses from Ivy League colleges.

Winner of the Best Documentary at the Idyllwild CinemaFest and the Rising Star Award at the Canada International Film Festival, Red, White, Black and Blue will be well worth a watch when it screens in Raglan in September.

When: Friday 13 September, 8pm.

Where: Old School Arts Centre.

Reservations: Phone 825 0023 or email

Full details of the 2013 Raglan Film Festival lineup will be announced in coming weeks.

$500 Prize Pool now on offer for the 2013 Raglan Arts Film Festival Awards



Thanks to generous support from both local and national businesses, the Raglan Film Festival is delighted to announce a prize pool of $500 for the 2013 RAFFA awards.
This is the first time in their five-year history that the awards, which celebrate the talents of local filmmakers and actors, have been able to offer a monetary prize. As in previous years, winners will also receive a custom-designed trophy from local steel artists Philip and Emily Meek.
Support has been received from Droidworx, Stendy Electrical, Grolsch, Creative Communities NZ – Waikato District, Raglan Community Radio and the Raglan Club. Awards will be presented for Best Actor/Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Director/Producer, Best Picture and in two open categories.
In light of the prize pool, the entry period for the awards has been extended until 12 August and the submission fee has been waived. Nominations are welcome for movies of any length and genre provided they have been crafted by filmmakers or actors from the Raglan Whaingaroa area (west of the deviation), or filmed within the local area.
The 2013 Raglan Arts Film Festival runs from 13 to 22 September at the Old School Arts Centre, with the popular awards ceremony taking place on Saturday 21 September. Keep an eye out for full details of the festival lineup, which will be announced in coming weeks.
Make a nomination: Application forms are available from the Old School Arts Centre in Stewart Street. Phone 07 825 0023 or email for more information. Entries are now free of charge. Closing date: 12 August.

Welcome to the Raglan Film Festival 2013

Red White Black Blue is the acclaimed documentary following  a Los Angeles high school rugby team's visit to New Zealand.

Red White Black Blue is the acclaimed documentary following a Los Angeles high school rugby team’s visit to New Zealand.

The highlight of the Raglan Film Festival programme is the 2013 RAFFA Awards, a celebration of Raglan films and film-makers. Join us for the red-carpet awards ceremony on Saturday 21 September!

Entries for the 2013 RAFFA awards are now open, with a prize pool of $500! The entry deadline is Monday 12 August 2013.

All entries must have an association with Raglan Whaingaroa – either a person from the production crew or in the film must have that association or part of the film must have been shot or edited in the Raglan Whaingaroa area.

Download the application form here now.

For more information, contact the Old School Office on 07 825 0023 or email

This year the award categories will be:

  • Best Actor/Actress
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Director/Producer
  • Grand Prize for Best Picture
  • Two open categories for panel to review dependent on nominations received e.g. documentary, music, comedy etc

Raglan Community Arts Council thanks our supporters for this festival: Creative Communities NZ – Waikato District, Stendy Electrical, Grolsch, Droidworx Limited New Zealand, Ragland Community Radio, the Raglan Club and the film distributors, producers and directors who arranged the theatrical releases for the feature films.



RAFFA wraps up 2012

This year’s RAFFA award winners

Saturday night’s red carpet gala RAFFA awards evening was a fitting celebration to conclude Raglan’s 10-day Film Festival.

Guests and celebrities enjoyed a festive evening held at the Old School Arts Centre. The spotlight was on Whaingaroa’s own filmmakers in a night to get together and celebrate local talent. A delicious buffet dinner provided by the Raglan soccer mums preceded a screening of the short films and highlights of the nominated features which thoroughly engaged all those present.

The awards ceremony itself was a real showcase of the talent in our own creative community. The recipients will cherish their striking RAFFA awards. Designed and created by local steel artists Phil and Emily Meek, an old-school movie reel is captured in the unique design of this year’s award.

The 2012 RAFFA Awards went to
Best Editor: Turanga Kereopa for the music video Skinny by Ariana
Best Soundtrack: Aroha Yates-Smith for Sky Whisperers Ranginui
Best Music Video: Silent Tears by Little Lapin and Indie Productions
Best Documentary: Tuihana Bosch on behalf of Te Mauri Tau for Te Kumara
Best Environmental Film: KASM by Kiwis Against Seabed Mining
Best Producer: Brian Ruawai for Journey: Cornerstone Roots
Best Director: Micah Puklowski for Monochromacy
Best Actress: Athene Jensen in Whiff Drawers
Best Actor: Reiki Ruawai for The Dump
Best Cinematography: Juan Duazo for Art to Wear 2012

Maryann Tuao receives the Creative Force Award, recognising her work in the Raglan creative community.

This year’s special awards included:

Newcomer Award: Billy Lee-Pope for filming Raglan’s 1st Grom Skateboard Competition
Creative Force Award: Maryann Tuao of Groundswell Media for both a productive 2012 year and for providing support, encouragement and mentoring to many local talents.
International Film Award: The Most Fun You Can Have Dying, directed by Kirsten Marcon, filmed partly in Raglan. The award acknowledges the accomplishment of producing a highly regarded feature length film on a controversial subject, filmed internationally, on a very tight budget.
Special Grand Prize Award for Best Picture: Whiff Drawers by Groundswell Media in
acknowledgement of the tremendous effort to produce something of this quality in the 48 hours competition.

See the full list of nominees and winners.

The fourth annual Red Carpet ceremony was organised by the Raglan Community Arts Council. Many local people volunteered their expertise to make this event a great success. Ruth Port’s leadership skills as MC for the Awards Ceremony guided all guests through an evening to remember. Rodger Gallagher, Jacqueline Anderson and Aaron Mooar devoted much time to planning and organising the whole ten-day programme.
Aaron also contributed his skills as a projectionist and was the voice of the festival on Raglan Radio. Susan Guenther was the photographer as the guests walked the red carpet. Thanks goes to the Raglan Soccer Mums for the excellent catering and to Vicky Crosby for serving refreshments.

Valued sponsors of the Film Festival include Creative Communities Waikato District, V48Hours Furious Filmmaking Competition, Flux Animation Studios, the Raglan Club and the Raglan Operational Support Unit.

And of course, a huge thank-you goes to Whaingaroa’s stars and film-makers and the audiences who helped make this year’s Raglan Film Festival a success. See you in 2013!

New Release Surf Movie – A Deeper Shade of Blue

McCoy shooting underwater footage on his underwater jet ski. This innovative piece of equipment exposes a groundbreaking new vantage to the world.

The new surf movie, A Deeper Shade of Blue just released in New Zealand cinemas this week is screening this Sunday 23rd September at the Raglan Old School Arts Centre in Stewart St. at 8pm

To reserve seats phone 825 0023 or email

With A Deeper Shade of Blue, Jack McCoy sets an ambitious agenda telling the story of surfing (from start to finish) in a way that both surfers and non-surfers find compelling. The film paints an inspiring portrait of our relationship with the sea through a diverse cast of characters. We visit professional surfing through the lens of Jamie O’Brien. We see women’s surfing through Steph Gilmore’s eyes. We learn about big-wave riding through the experiences of Shipsterns Bluff charger Marti Paradisis. Each fragment of surf culture has an assigned ambassador, and while McCoy’s selection process is interesting, the spokespersons are essentially interchangeable; none are acutely singular, yet all are authentic.

Jack McCoy uses the evolution of the surfboard as a timeline communicating directly to non-surfers, which is most obviously evidenced by the photography.

McCoy’s underwater footage is mesmerizing. Whatever the cost, his underwater jet ski was worth it. The innovative piece of equipment exposes a groundbreaking new vantage to the world. The sessions documented at Teahupoo and Shipsterns Bluff are equally impressive. Beyond that, A Deeper Shade of Blue may showcase the finest women’s surfing segments to date. Every woman on screen successfully exits at least one 6-Mississippi-barrel. And as beautiful as all of the women featured in the film are, there are no gratuitous bikini shots – just extremely impressive surfing.

A Deeper Shade of Blue also makes a poignant observation three-quarters of the way through the film when the narrator notes that surf culture grew so large in the late ‘60s that “authentically” documenting the experience of surfing became a career. That’s just what Jack did, and his A Deeper Shade of Blue accurately reflects this.

Whaingaroa actor Reiki Ruawai, stars in comedy drama

by Susan Guenther, Raglan Old School Arts Centre

Reiki Ruawai in The Dump

Reiki Ruawai in The Dump

RAFFA nominee, 12 year old Raglan local Reiki Ruawai has been selected for what director Hamish Bennett calls his “awesome” performance in ‘The Dump’. The short film, a comedy/drama, tells the story of a young boy, Utah, and the gradual bond he develops with his estranged dad Orlando, the sole employee at a tiny rural rubbish dump.

Regardless of initial perceptions, Utah eventually works out that his dad is a good man. Rough around the edges with plenty of character, the rubbish dump setting itself, helps to depict the idea that a person’s true nature will ultimately reveal itself.

According to Hamish, Reiki was a natural fit to play Utah. The relationship between a son and his estranged father is a serious topic and had to be told with an authentic voice. A country boy himself, Reiki has a down-to-earth nature, and with dreads, stood out from other child actors.

Reiki’s mother Naomi Tuao, was impressed by how seriously he took his role, “when the camera is rolling he jumps into character straight away…Reiki doesn’t seem to mind how long it takes to shoot scenes…even if it’s late at night or 6am in the morning!” According to Naomi, Reiki loves acting. He finds it an adventure. Reiki also enjoys music, has performed several solo gigs, and does backing vocals in Cornerstone Roots. His strong creative heritage includes his Dad, Brian Ruawai who writes music for films, and his Aunt Maryann Tuao, local Film maker with Groundswell Media, also a RAFFA nominee.

“Raglan is a place that allows you to be creative in many ways, and I think the community has helped him develop these skills by allowing him to be himself” says Naomi.

Reiki’s musical abilities are revealed in Groundswell Media’s short film ‘Journey’ about a day in the Raglan life of the 12 year old Cornerstone Roots band member, also to be screened at the RAFFA ceremony.

The Dump has already received much international exposure with screenings at Dallas, Palm Springs, Montreal and Nevada City. You can see Raglan’s local star Reiki, at the third annual Raglan Arts Film Festival Awards (RAFFA). All nominated short and feature films will be screened at the Red Carpet Awards ceremony at the Old School Arts Centre on Saturday 22nd September commencing at 7 pm. Although all tickets to the Red Carpet night are sold, there is an opportunity to see a selection of the RAFFA nominees on Sunday 23rd at 1.30pm.

Take a look at the 2012 Raglan Film Festival films on our website: or check the What’s On advert in the Raglan Chronicle.

Raglan Film Festival underway- Full House for Te Kumara

Audience watches the delicate moment of a kumara sprout being plucked from the seed bed

The Raglan Film Festival opened on Thursday night to a great start with a full house for the world premiere screening of Te Kumara.

This beautifully crafted documentary about the traditional ways of growing and storing kumara was enthusiastically received by the audience. Produced by Whaingaroa’s own Te Mauri Tau it covers the path of the kumara from the seed bed to the storage pit.

After Arts Council Chairperson Rodger Gallagher welcomed the audience to the 3rd Raglan Film Festival, kaumatua Sean Ellison blessed the Film Festival and the screening.  Ruth Port then introduced Tuihana Bosch who explained the making of the film and its purpose.  Many people stayed on after the screening for a discussion.

Te Kumara is produced in te reo Maori with English subtitles. It is a nominee in this year’s Raglan Arts Film Festival Awards (RAFFA). A longer version entirely in Te Reo has also been produced. The documentary will be used as part of the Enviroschools programme through New Zealand.