For­eign star for city film


A short film set in Manawatū and Rangītikei is wrap­ping up its shoot­ing sched­ule.

For one of the movie’s fi­nal scenes, Palmer­ston North’s Hokowhitu Bowl­ing Club rooms have be­come a film set.

Up­stream, a film by Por­tuguese mi­grant Adri­ana Martins da Silva, is a com­mu­nity project, and bowl­ing club mem­bers are ex­tras be­hind the bar and sit­ting at ta­bles.

At one end of the smokey room, courtesy of a smoke ma­chine, mu­si­cian Paul Ur­bana Jones is play­ing gui­tar.

The film’s leads New Zealand singer and ac­tor Whir­i­mako Black and Por­tu­gal’s Joana Brandão are talk­ing at one of the ta­bles.

Brandão has come half way round the world for less than two weeks film­ing.

She has taken time off from her role as a bi­ol­o­gist in the Por­tuguese soap Espelho D’Agua or Wa­ter Mir­ror.

Bran­dao was in da Silva’s film Alin­gua ( Tongue), and her 2012 O Cheiro das Ve­las ( The Smell of Can­dles), which won, among other ac­co­lades, Best Por­tuguese Short Film 2013, and for Bran­dao Best Actress in a Short Film.

This year Brandão was awarded the Por­tuguese So­ci­ety of Au­thors Award for Best Actress.

In Up­stream she plays Mar­i­ana, a re­cent ar­rival to New Zealand from Por­tu­gal who is be­friended by Tūī, her next door neigh­bour and tra­di­tional Māori weaver, played by Black.

Mar­i­ana is preg­nant and Brandão is wear­ing a pros­thetic preg­nancy bump un­der her dress.

‘‘A lot of young adults left Por­tu­gal after the fi­nan­cial cri­sis, and Adri­ana was one of them,’’ Brandão said.

‘‘I told her that she has to bring me to New Zealand to make a film.

‘‘I chal­lenged her to talk about her feel­ings about be­ing in an­other coun­try, the lone­li­ness, dis­tance from fam­ily, the food, and she says ‘OK, OK’, and it’s a joke [be­tween us].

‘‘And then she says she has a script and ‘let’s do it’.’’

da Silva, who has worked as a ra­dio­g­ra­pher in Palmer­ston North since her 2014 ar­rival in New Zealand, suc­cess­fully ap­plied for an Earle Cre­ativ­ity and De­vel­op­ment Trust grant to make the film, co-writ­ten by Massey Univer­sity Span­ish lec­turer Leonel Al­varado.

She has made it a com­mu­nity project, in­cor­po­rat­ing film pro­fes­sion­als from Welling­ton, Palmer­ston North and Por­tu­gal, and in­volv­ing part­ner­ships with Ran­gitāne and lo­cal busi­nesses. ‘‘It’s awe­some. ‘‘She has moved ev­ery­one to­gether and made it all pos­si­ble.

There are so many peo­ple from the com­mu­nity in­volved in this project, it’s amazing,’’ Brandão said.


Por­tuguese ac­tor Joana Bran­dao, di­rec­tor Adri­ana Martins da Silva, Paul Ur­bana Jones and Whir­i­mako Black.

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