Principal photography begins in Auckland this week for family feature film, Kiwi Christmas, directed by Tony Simpson. It marks the next chapter for the creative team behind 2012’s family comedy, Kiwi Flyer.
Fed up with the materialism of Christmas, Santa runs away to New Zealand for a summer holiday. When two Kiwi kids figure out who he is, they have to find a way to get him back to the North Pole in time for Christmas.
Veteran Finnish actor Kari Vaananen (Night on Earth, Leningrad Cowboys Go America) will play Santa with top New Zealand actors Sia Trokenheim (Everything we Loved, Beyond the Known World) and Xavier Horan (The Dead Lands, The Dark Horse) taking other lead roles. The two children will be played by newcomers Samuel Clark and Luca Andrews. The supporting cast includes well known actors Troy Kingi, Laura Daniel, Wesley Dowdell, Will Hall and Ian Mune.
Written by Andrew Gunn, Tony Simpson and Dave Armstrong, the film is produced by Field Theory’s double BAFTA award winner Tim Sanders (Whale Rider, The Lord of the Rings:Fellowship of the Rings, Kiwi Flyer). Co-producer is Caroline Hutchison and executive producer is Lloyd Meiklejohn. Oscar winning designer Grant Major has teamed with co-designer Ashley Turner. BAFTA and Oscar winning editor John Gilbert is working with co-editor Scott Flyger.
Kiwi Christmas is made with investment from the New Zealand Film Commission, Kiwibank and private investors. Madman Entertainment will distribute the film in New Zealand and Australia, and international sales will be handled by Scandinavian sales agency The Yellow Affair.