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Independent NZ short The Last Night off to Cannes

New Zealand independent short film The Last Night has been selected for the Short Film Corner at the iconic Cannes Film Festival 2014. Filmed in Wellington, The Last Night is a self-funded, independent film written and directed by David Strong.

It is an intense and dramatic story of a young New Zealand peacekeeper as he struggles to convince an Afghan warlord not to shell a village and massacre its people.

The short film’s cast includes Cohen Holloway (Good for Nothing) and Calvin Tuteao (The Pa Boys, Once Were Warriors), John Landreth (Rage, The Cure) and introducing Artemis Kavian Pour.

The film was produced by David Strong and Wanda Lepionka of CraftInc. Films, with Mathew Knight (Good for Nothing) as Cinematographer. This is the second short film from David Strong, who spent time with the NZ Army as a United Nations peacekeeper. His first short film, Pacific Dreams, won an award at the Rhode Island international Film Festival:Best Actress for Dame Kate Harcourt. The short also played in the 2011 editions of the Shanghai International Film Festival and, closer to home, Show Me Shorts.

The Last Night, which was completed in February 2014, transported Afghanistan to the hills of Wellington and to Miramar’s Camperdown Studios.

The story reflects a real contemporary issue about the futility of war, and whether we can make a change for the better. The Last Night will resonate with audiences around the world as they grapple with this question.

The Last Night

The Last Night

David Strong said that authenticity was crucial in keeping the content real. “We had military and cultural advisors as part of our crew and the actors learnt to speak Pashtu. Cohen Holloway and Calvin Tuteao who play the peacekeeper and warlord worked very hard in these roles and spent many hours learning and articulating the language. It was an honour to work together.”

Wanda Lepionka, Producer of The Last Night said, “We are thrilled for our film to be selected for the Short Film Corner at Cannes. It is the dedication of our cast, crew and sponsors, and support of friends and family who have all helped to make this happen. This story is inspired by true events and it was a satisfying challenge to work together in creating this world.”


The Last Night trailer

CraftInc. Films is hoping to travel to Cannes and talk to other global film industry professionals about future projects, she said.

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