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: http://www.raglanartscentre.co.nz/rff/ 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.

World premiere of Te Kumara

The Raglan Film Festival is starting one day early on the 13th September with an 8.00pm screening of Te Kumara. This inspiring local documentary features kuia and kaumatua telling the story of the kumara from the seed bed to the storage pit. This is a beautifully crafted documentary about the history and story of of the kumara by Whaingaroa’s own Te Mauri Tau. there will be an introduction by Tuihana Bosch and Q&A afterwards.

Reservations are already high, so it is advisable to book if you wish to attend.

Produced in te reo Maori with English subtitles.

Screening time 45 minutes
Thursday 13 September 8.30pm

Special price – adults $5, children $2.