by Susan Guenther, Raglan Old School Arts Centre
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.