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Neila in private film premiere

A screening of the first film in Fred Pott's post-apocalyptic trilogy was held in Auckland recently for family, friends and potential investors. Gisborne woman Danielle Hegarty plays the lead role of Neila, who leads a small group of survivors after a virus released in 2021 leaves fewer than 7000 people on the planet. Shifting between present day and 2000 years in the future, the film tells the story of Neila's trek through a desiccated and de-populated landscape in search of food and water.

The private screening of the film at Auckland's Bridgeway Cinema was a formal affair, says Hegarty.

“We presented the 40 minute piece to 20 to 30 investors from China. With investment and another budget the film can be expanded into a feature. That will enable us to possibly film in China which is our target market.”

Hegarty even learned Mandarin for her role.

Depending on investment, Hegarty might also be flown to Oregon to film the second part of the trilogy. Hegarty describes her character in the first part of the trilogy as shy, although she adapts to her surroundings. As the story progresses through the three films she gains understanding of herself.

“She is a confused teenage girl who is not quite aware of what's going on around her,” says Hegarty who does not want to give too much of the story away yet. The young actor's experience with the Neila trilogy, and as producer for Potts' film All Children Have the Right to Art, which was partly shot in Gisborne, could well help progress her ambition. “My goal for next year is to study at the South Seas Film School.”

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