Fast filmmaker says keep it simple
A Mt Eden filmmaker never thought something he whipped up in 48 hours would be featuring at a film festival.
But that’s exactly what will happen when Damon Fepuleai’s short film, In Search of Bigfoot, screens at the annual Pollywood Pacific Island Film Festival next week.
The seven-minute mockumentary on the search for the mythical creature was made as part of the 48-Hour film competition last year.
Damon says when he was assigned the difficult genre of “animal movie” to work with, he initially struggled to come up with ideas.
With the help of three actor friends, Damon headed out to Woodhill Forest where he shot and directed the film single-handedly.
“Because our crew was so small we thought we’d just keep it simple,” he says.
“I just started filming the guys and they just ad-libbed a lot.”
In Search of Bigfoot went on to be selected by Peter Jackson as the prestigious wild card entry into the national finals of the competition.
“That was kind of exciting,” says Damon.
“The film had a lot of good feedback.”
But he says he was still surprised when it was selected for the Pollywood festival.
“It was never meant to be anything that would show at a festival. If you make something in 48 hours it’s never going to be as good as something that you make over a longer time.”
The Mt Eden resident says he is spending most of his time at the moment working on the script for his own feature film, a psychological thriller, being funded in part by the New Zealand Film Commission.
Pollywood director and curator Craig Fasi says the festival, now in its seventh year, has received a consistently high standard of entries each year.
He says the work coming through this year is “really polished”.
“I’m really happy with this year’s programme.”
The festival gives Pacific Island filmmakers the chance to share their stories, whether they be from grassroots or established filmmakers, says Craig.
Pollywood festival starts at Galatos in Newton on Monday, followed by a screening at the Otara Music and Arts Centre on Wednesday and finally at the Corban Estate Arts Centre on Thursday.
Screenings start at 7pm and tickets can be bought at the door for $10.
Lights, camera: Damon Fepuleai’s short film In Seach of Bigfoot will screen at the Pollywood film festival later this month.