Topic: Entertainment

Big dreams for small town Aotearoa

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

A film about a boy living in rural New Zealand who dreams big is about to have its premiere screening tonight in front of its small town cast in the East Cape.

"Ōku Moemoeā - The Dream which is bigger than I am" was based on a book written by Shona Hammond-Boys, now they’ve turned the story into a film and this is where the story grows.

Those who starred in the film will get to attend its international debut at the Art House International Festival in Washington DC at the end of June. 

It’s a film that's based on rural Aotearoa passion for blue-sky thinking, and according to cultural advisor and actor Toby Wikotu, it has been three years of hard slog. 

“The important thing about this project was watching these children learn in a different realm that may not have been possible in school,” he says.

Ōku Moemoeā was submitted by the Ōpōtiki Children's Art House to the national Arts House foundation competition and won.  Hammond-Boys says, “All the actors are for free and they have given wonderful time, in fact people have been having hāngi, performances and they have raised money for twenty people to go to Washington.”

Locals of Kutarere and Ōpōtiki were among the helping hands and cast, 20 of them have already fundraised to cover their travel costs to the US, where they will spend 14 days at the International Art House Festival.

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