Posted Tuesday 14 Sep 2021
A shout-out to Jessica George who, along with three other wāhine post graduate film students, is developing Our Friend James, a horror-comedy-political-coming-of-age short film. They'd love you to support them on Boosted!
The film aims to "dismantle some of the institutionalised racism we see in Aotearoa today," Jessica says.
Our Friend James is the cumulative project of the group's postgraduate degree in film at Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington, and the four aim to submit it to the Māoriland Film Festival 2022 as well as other local and international film festivals. Principal photography begins in November.
Director and writer Georgia Ah Kuoi is receiving mentorship from Jess Charlton, WIFT NZ member Mata Freshwater, and Jade Jackson.
Here’s the plot outline:
Two Pākehā girls dress as indigenous characters for Halloween, in an attempt to impress their Polynesian friend. However, when their actions inadvertently bring a statue of James Cook to life who tries to ‘colonise’ them, the girls are left reconsidering their understanding of the world they live in.
Over-tanned, dim-witted, and dressed as Moana and Pocohontas for Halloween, Becky and Alison encounter an alluring colonial statue on their way to Kahurangi’s party. In a twisted version of princess and the frog, the statue (who, unbeknown to them, is Captain James Cook) reanimates and follows them. Upon his arrival, the night quickly turns into turmoil. Unable to control his insatiable desire to colonise indigenous peoples, James Cook mis-identifies Becky and Alison, and what ensues is a terrifyingly hilarious game of cat-and-mouse. Walmart Moana and K-Mart Pocahontas are forced to come face-to-face with their white privilege.