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Colourful characters wanted

A Gladstone-based filmmaker is calling for local talent to audition for her next movie, Scammed, about a modern-day swindle set in a retirement village.

It’s a “timely movie”, the film’s scriptwriter and director Juanita Deely said. “You go onto your internet banking and the first thing you see is a warning about scams.

“That’s why I felt I would write a short, feel-good movie about the scam of an elderly woman living in a retirement village in Masterton.”

Deely, who produced the locally-made film Milk [2021] and wrote and directed the 2018 documentary short A Home in This World describes her latest project as “basically community-focused” and supportive of older people, who are frequently victims of scams.

“It’s educational and it’s entertaining and it’s been written to empower senior citizens.”

Auditions for the film’s ensemble cast will be held at Harlequin Theatre in Masterton on Wednesday, November 29 from 10.30am to 5.30pm.

“The characters are really colourful,” Deely said, and include an ageing lothario, a feisty octogenarian and Nancy – who “always wanted to be the CEO of a large corporation but settled for being president of the village social club”.

Deely describes the film’s main character as “composed, charming and reserved”.

“But when she speaks, everyone listens.”

Acting experience is not necessary as the film will be tightly directed, but Deely said she is looking for “certain characters”.

“Finding the right character is crucial.”

Male and female actors over the age of 65 and male actors between 20 and 30 years of age are encouraged to audition.

Marilyn Bouzaid, a familiar face on the local drama scene, is casting director and the film’s cinematographer is Greytown-based photographer and videographer Terry Wreford Hann.

Filming is expected to take place in Wairarapa in late January 2024.

Auditions will be held at Harlequin Theatre, Masterton, on Wednesday, November 29 from 10.30am to 5.30pm. To register your interest, contact Marilyn Bouzaid on (06) 377 3823.

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