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Viewers a-flutter over feature film's debut

by Laurel Stowell, Wanganui Chronicle, 9 August 2010

"Wanganui writer/director Alan Clay was happy with the premiere of his Butterfly Crush film, though he would have liked more teenagers there.

About 80 people walked a few metres of red carpet, drank wine or fruit juice and then watched the feature film at Embassy 3 Cinemas on Saturday night.

Mr Clay said younger members of the audience came to him afterward and were "very effusive", and lead actor Amelia Shankley also liked the way it had turned out. Art Director Stewart Fulljames said he was amazed how good the finished product looked.

There was applause at the end of the screening and Mr clay asked the audience to tell their friends about the movie. It will screen again at Embassy 3 Cinemas at 6pm on the the next two Saturdays.

Fifteen-year-olds Eilish Meha and Elliette Fromont arrived early for the premiere. Eilish said she had been following the film on internet social marketing site Facebook. Their verdict afterward: 'It was pretty good.' They didn't always understand the plot, but liked all the dancing.

The star and central figure was Courtney Hale, a 20-year-old Wellington actor and dancer. Her unusual but striking looks and her dilemma captured audience sympathy.

She couldn't get to the premiere because she was dancing with the New Zealand Hip Hop team at world championships in the United States. Her little sister Maddison liked the film but was less than captivated by the love scenes. 'I hate seeing my sister kissing another boy. It's just gross,' she said afterward.

The film had a dark side along with its exuberant singing and dancing -- a mysterious cult with astrology, open relationships and computer-guided dreaming. Young cult members were expected to stand up at breakfast and talk about their overnight sexual encounters.

Sometimes it was difficult to tell whether the action on screen was real. The indoor cult scenes were all shot upstairs in Wanganui's former Tearaway building in Taupo Quay -- now being converted into the city's information centre. There were also scenes shot elsewhere in the city -- in the Wanganui Club building, and at a cafe.

Some members of the audience had acted as extras, others were given tickets to the premiere in a radio promotion and still others were just curious. Albert Sword was there to support local talent. 'He could be the next Peter Jackson,' he said."


On this site you can also check out press releases, the production credits and photos, find an outline of the story plus photos, read reviews of the book and view podcasts from Butterfly Crush. 

New on this site you can find information on our feature film in development, True Believers, and reviews of the novel on which it is based.

You can also check out Artmedia's digital short film, Moontan which will be released in 2007 - read the synopsis, check out reviews of the book on which the film is based, read scene one of the script, and find information on the cast and production team.


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last updated 16 August 2010

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