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Guillermo Del Toro gets behind local feature

Producer Bonnie Slater has scored a major coup in persuading The Hobbit director Guillermo del Toro to help raise money for her upcoming feature.

The Pan’s Labyrinth director will join Jonathan King (Black Sheep, Under The Mountain) onstage at Wellington”s Paramount Theatre on November 11 for a Q&A evening.

Ms. Slater, currently working for Weta, saw the play on which the film is based at BATS Theatre in 2005. It’s a Whanau Thing was written by Jamie McCaskill and Kelly Kilgour, who”s also written the screenplay, now titled Roots, Rock and Harmony.

Sam Kelly, SPADA’s Young Filmmaker of the Year last year, will direct. He and Ms. Slater have previously worked together on several projects, and are three-time winners of the Wellington V 48 Hours Furious Filmmaking Competition.

The film is budgeted at $1.4 million. Recently turned down for funding by Creative New Zealand, Ms. Slater is trying to raise $100,000 to shoot the film. The film has already attracted a considerable amount of goodwill, with cast and crew working on deferred fees and some equipment suppliers also agreeing to deferred payments.

Bonnie is currently putting together information for prospective investors.

Another stop on the fundraising trail will be the Film Commission, once ongoing discussions about distribution are complete. The film is slated to shoot early next year in Palmerston North (4 weeks) and Wellington (2 weeks).

Stick November 11 in your diary and keep an eye out for more information on the fundraiser. It’s unlikely there’ll be many opportunities to hear Guillermo del Toro speak publicly while he’s working here.

Visit Clean Slate for updates.

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