Independent filmmakers, DKLV from the Netherlands, will be treated to a behind the scenes tour of Wildbase Hospital at 9am on Monday, 23 May 2016. The visit follows the Palmerston North premiere screening of their movie, The Greenstone, which is also a Rotary fundraiser for the national wildlife rehabilitation aviary project, Wildbase Recovery.
Independent filmmaking and treating wildlife in New Zealand share some similarities. “On a small budget, a lot of DIY is needed,” says The Greenstone director, Christoph van der Bij. “We let the weather and the locals direct us, and we had to personally take our trailer to cinemas throughout the country in the hope that they would pick it up.” At Wildbase Hospital, treatment methods are often directed by a patient’s individual needs. “We’re not averse to using blu tack, pen tubes, and paper clips,” says Wildbase Co-Director, Dr Brett Gartrell. “Whatever is needed to increase the patient’s chance of survival.”
During their travels, Christoph and his wife and business partner, Nicole te Boekhorst, met Rotary District 9940 Governor Nominee, Mitchell Brown. Rotary are a collaboration member of Wildbase Recovery and Mitchell saw an opportunity to link the two projects together.
“New Zealand is very dear to our hearts; just like pounamu, your native wildlife is taonga and needs to be around for future generations,” says Christoph. “When we heard of the wonderful work being done at Wildbase Hospital, and how there is a very real need for the Wildbase Recovery centre, we were keen to be involved.”
The Greenstone is DKLV’s first full feature independent movie. What makes it particularly special is that the writers, director, and some crew members are from the Netherlands, the lead character is played by South African Cele’ du Plessis, and the rest of the crew is a combination of both cultures, and Australians and New Zealanders.
The film tells the story of a young woman, Jade, who upon her mother’s death, is given a greenstone koru hanger, a photo, and the name of her biological father. She leaves South Africa and travels from Auckland to Akaroa in search of answers to her past. The Greenstone is a movie where New Zealand’s stunning landscapes, scenery, towns and building play a vital part, as well as the ongoing effects of the Christchurch earthquakes.
The movie will be screened in over 40 cinemas throughout New Zealand, with the premiere week starting in Christchurch tonight. In addition to helping bring Wildbase Recovery to their audience’s attention, Christoph, Nicole, Cele’, and producer, Tim Bonekamp will be attending the Palmerston North premiere. Tickets are $25pp and are still available for the 6.30pm screening, which includes wine and cheese with proceeds going directly to Wildbase Recovery.