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Penny Black to save food

Kiwi feature film Penny Black opens in theatres today, touring 25 cinemas to raise funds for food rescue charities across the country.

Penny Black is about high-strung self-centred twenty-something Penny Black (Astra McLaren) who travels down the North Island in an attempt to save her job and opulent lifestyle. Along the way she meets a guy name Guy (Anton Tennet); who makes her slow her down and question how the world works.

Penny Black commenced filming in 2012 and was largely completed over weekends with friends and professionals helping out when they could. “The approach to the film was influenced a lot by 1950’s cinema” says director Joe Hitchcock, “so the movie feels like 85 minutes of hanging out with interesting characters in relatable situations, then we threw in a bit of activism and absurdism to make it more interesting.”


Writer and producer Fiona Jackson says, “The theme of Penny Black is to question the way our society operates, and one of the issues discussed in the film is the amount of food that gets wasted every day, ending up in landfills. It makes no sense to us that food is wasted yet people go hungry, and food rescue charities try to correct the balance so we’re thrilled to be able to help out.”

The charities that will receive the film-makers share of box office profit include Kiwi Harvest (Auckland), Kaivolution (Waikato), Kaibosh (Wellington), 0800 Hungry (Christchurch) and Foodshare (Dunedin), as well as other smaller charities which benefit the regions the film is screening in.

Wellington’s ‘Kaibosh Food Rescue’ General Manager Matt Dagger explains “Penny Black delicately touches upon important issues of what is a ‘want’ and what is a ‘need’. It throws a spotlight on the over-consumption and needless waste that we take for granted in the current food system and makes us all stop and think about the small things that we need to consider should we be able to bring about meaningful change.”


Keepingupwithnz.com described the film as “quirky, eccentric and sometimes just plain weird. But it’s also quite funny, subtle and typically Kiwi”.

The New Zealand tour starts today (17 February) at The Lido in Hamilton, and will travel to 25 New Zealand cinemas over the next month.

More information at pennyblackmovie.com

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