Ambitious local war film to Premiere in Dunedin

By Allan Baddock | Posted: Wednesday April 3, 2019

A German U-Boat prowling the Otago coast during WW2 plays a central role in the latest production to emerge through local filmmaker development initiative, Short Film Otago.

'Milk' is based on the true story of German submarine U-862 that travelled along the East Coast of New Zealand in 1945. History and legend have merged into rumours that crewmen came ashore to milk cows for fresh provisions. For Dunedin writer Pennie Hunt this was the perfect starting point for a story that shows the wider impact of war on communities, particularly on women.

But the story posed the particular challenge of making a film that had a WW2 submarine parked off a Dunedin beach. The challenge was overcome through a highly creative combination of techniques not usually seen in short films.

The result is a stunning short film largely shot at Dunedin's Whareakeake (Murdering Beach) early last year. It is written and directed by Pennie and produced by her Punakaiki Productions partner, Stefan Roesch.

The just-completed film is to premiere to an invited audience at the Rialto on Thursday April 11th.

Short Film Otago provided mentoring and initial funding from its grant scheme. Further support came from the DCC and a Boosted campaign and camera and lighting equipment was provided by the Queenstown Camera Company.

"But as with all such ventures our film only got made through a lot of dedication, and the energy and time donated by professionals and volunteers who supported us," Pennie Hunt says.

SFO Chair, Allan Baddock says projects such as Milk are what Short Film Otago is all about. "This was a great story idea and a talented team we were able to guide and support in realising their vision. Helping the region's emerging filmmakers showcase their talents like this is what SFO was founded for and hopefully this film will inspire many others to grab their ideas and run with them".

Short Film Otago is a charitable trust funded by the Otago Community Trust.

For further information, contact:Chairperson Short Film Otago - Allan Baddock 

Phone 021 588 545 

© Copyright Dunedin City of Literature