Production has begun on Alison Maclean’s The Rehearsal, adapted from Eleanor Catton’s award-winning coming of age novel.
The novel is not dissimilar to the Christos Tsiolkas’ The Slap in its non-linear construction, which Australian production company Matchbox adapted for TV. The script for The Rehearsal is by award-winning novelist Emily Perkins and Maclean.
The Rehearsal adds to the trend of features by returning directors this year. Earlier in the year Lee Tamahori shot The Patriarch, while Roger Donaldson has doco McLaren in the way and has been offered NZFC support for The Guinea Pig Club.
Maclean’s The Rehearsal is produced by Trevor Haysom (In My Father’s Den) and another returnee, Bridget Ikin, who was recently announced to present a curated programme of NZ titles for the Sydney FF. Ikin and Maclean have history, having worked together on Maclean’s short Kitchen Sink and debut feature Crush.
The cast includes Dark Horse and Dead Lands it-boy James Rolleston, Kerry Fox (An Angel at my Table, Bright Star), Miranda Harcourt, Cohen Holloway and Tandi Wright. New to NZ films are Jane Campion’s daughter Alice Englert (Ginger and Rosa, Beautiful Creatures) and YouTuber Jamie Curry, star turn at February’s WIFT-sponsored You Tube: Insider’s Guide to Success session in Auckland.
The production will shoot in Auckland for seven weeks. The Rehearsal is funded by the NZFC, New York-headquartered Park Pictures (which reps Maclean for commercial work in the US), Australia’s Film Buff Productions and Definition NZ. ANZ distribution is by Ikin’s partner John Maynard’s Footprint Films, which has also distributed Jane Campion’s An Angel At My Table and Sarah Watts’ My Year Without Sex, both produced by Ikin.
International sales are by the festival-focused Mongrel Media, whose bag for the upcoming Toronto IFF market includes NZIFF opener The Lobster, Grímur Hákonarson’s Un Certain Regard winner Rams and Jacques Audiard’s Cannes winner Dheepan.