Taranaki filmmakers shoot for the stars in grand final of 48Hours

A talented team of Taranaki filmmakers has made it all the way to the grand final of the 48HOURS Furious Filmmaking Competition. Brittany Baker caught up with one of crew to find out about their film.

For the third time in 16 years Taranaki will be represented at a national film competition.

Local filmmaking team Spacies Crew is one of just 18 grand finalists in the 2019 48HOURS Furious Filmmaking competition.

“We are so excited,” co-team lead and director Karlos Ruakere says.

“Personally I’ve been involved before, but this time as one of the main creative drivers behind this film, I am particularly proud.”

48HOURS is a New Zealand-wide filmmaking competition that sees creative crews come together to shoot, film, and edit a one to five-minute film in just two days.

Films are randomly assigned a genre and each team must include a selection of required elements, all of which are revealed at the start of the filming weekend.

Only the best films are selected to compete at the grand finals and Taranaki has only been selected twice before.

But this year, Spacies Crew’s short film, 40 Candles, has made the cut.

“Shavaughn [Ruakere] and Holly [Shanahan] are attending the final for our team as I am about to become a dad any day now,” Karlos says.

“But we will be well represented.”

Spacies Crew’s “coming of age” film is about two women coming together by chance on their birthdays to relive their shaky past and repair a broken friendship.

The inspiration for the film came from looking at past movies such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Thelma and Louis, and 18 Candles, Karlos says.

“Once we had our genre, we decided to go with a female cast.”

Starring Shavaughn Ruakere and Holly Shanahan – who also plays team lead and director – the film captured audiences with its clever cinematography, relatable storyline, and adorable young cast.

The film’s youngest star, Vincent McDonald, scored the team the Best Laugh award – one of the few required elements all films had to include.

“It was complete luck to get him that day,” Karlos says.

I had him over to watch the film and I gave him the certificate and a block of chocolate. He was very happy.

Karlos has long been a 48HOURS competitor, with his first experience having won the inaugural event as a member of an Auckland crew.

He maintained his presence in this Auckland-based team for years, making the national finals another several times.

“Working with this team is where I cut my teeth in digital film production,” he says.

“I learnt a lot from the guys I collaborated with during my time in Auckland.”

Karlos speaks highly of competition. He says it gives filmmakers an avenue to explore this form of expression.

“I sense there is this idea that artists are people who paint, and there’s little recognition that storytelling and filmmaking are an art form too.

New Zealand hits above its weight in the international film scene, and most of our filmmakers have had some involvement with the 48HOUR at some point.

“Taika Waititi, as a point of reference. He has won this competition well before he became a household name.”

Karlos urges those interested in filmmaking to just get started.

“Like any journey, if we don’t start, we won’t get anywhere.

“I encourage people with a passion for storytelling to just begin.”

  • The Vista Foundation 48Hours Grand Final 2019will be held in Auckland next week, 17 August. Tickets can be purchased by clicking this link.

Spacies cast and crew
Karlos Ruakere – co-director, writer, editor
Holly Shanahan – co-director, writer, actor
Shavaughn Ruakere – writer, actor
Paul Short – drone operator
Duane Luke – fonts, credits and runner
Kieran Brien – sound recordist
Boltme Boltme – original music
Various child actors
Tiki the dog – played a dog