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Expanding horizons with love of film

Lucia Zanmonti, Odette Rowe, and Minty Hunter are members of the Carterton Film Society, known as Sunset Cinema. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER


Hayley Gastmeier


Eleven unique films from different continents around the world will be shown on the big screen in Carterton thanks to Sunset Cinema.

Sunset Cinema is made up of a group of community-minded film-lovers who came up with the idea of utilising the Carterton Events Centre as a way of connecting people through movies and conversation.

The first screening of the year was shown last Friday. It was a documentary from Iran called Taxi Tehran, which followed filmmaker Jafar Panahi’s life as a forbidden storyteller as he pretended to be a taxi driver negotiating the streets of Tehran.

Sunset Cinema is run by the Carterton Film Society, a registered charity and member of the New Zealand Federation of Film Societies that has been screening films throughout New Zealand for more than 60 years.

Sunset Cinema committee member Lucia Zanmonti is one of the founding members of the Carterton branch.

Five years ago, Lucia got together with some friends who also had young families and they came up with the idea of using movies as a way of bringing the community together.

The goal was to create a family-friendly event that got people out of the house and interacting with others.

“We all liked non-mainstream movies, so the three of us applied for funding from the Creative Communities Scheme, we got funding and we created an incorporated society.”

The group began screening NZ films and documentaries, which were more easily accessible than foreign pictures.

“It was successful, but it was a lot of work, so we thought we’d simplify it.

“We decided to join up to the NZ Film Society, which gave us access to a large catalogue of movies.”

Lucia said the committee tried to select films comprising a diverse range of genres and cultures.

“We try and get most continents represented but it’s not always possible.”

She said many of the movies shown were festival films that prompted thought and left room for interpretation.

Also on the Sunset Cinema committee is Minty Hunter, Andrea Babel, Odette Rowe, and Jane Ross of Film Talks Wairarapa.

Odette agreed that the movies often inspired people to think outside the square and served as good conversation starters.

She said the goal was to attract cross sections of the community and get them intermingling.

Her home-made herbal teas will be on offer, as will Lucia’s famous cakes.

Minty said the films on show were “quite often ones that you’re not going to see anywhere else”.

He said the group also aimed to show a short film that complement the featured film at each session.

“We’re doing it to make it easier for people to see films, not harder.”

Jane said the screenings were a great addition to Carterton’s thriving community and filled the gap of there being no cinema in town.

“It’s a fabulous opportunity to meet new people in a welcoming setting and also a great way to broaden your film-going options.”

Carterton Film Society membership is open to everyone. Because of the non-commercial screening rights, only members can attend screenings.

The film society offer two options of membership, a three-month “taster” pass for $35 or an annual pass for $80.

Films screen at the Carterton Events Centre on the first Friday of each month, except in October, when it’s the second Friday.


Sunset Cinema 2020 screenings

February 7 – Tehran Taxi, Iran

March 6 – God’s Own Country, UK

April 3 – Capharnaüm, Lebanon

May 1 – Woman At War, Iceland

June 5 – Orlando, UK

July 3 – Columbus, USA

August 7 – The Florida Project, USA

September 4 – The Insult, Lebanon

October 9 – The State Against Mandela And The Others, France

November 6 – Neighbouring Sounds, Brazil

December 4 – I Am Love, Italy


Find out more about Sunset Cinema here: https://www.sunsetcinemacarterton.com/ 


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