Posted by Allan Vester on Aug 16, 2017

With youth suicide regularly in the news it was timely that Monday night’s first speaker, Alex Lovell addressed the club with an engaging and enthusiastic account of his close involvement with a film on the subject.

Alex is half of a production company, Run Charlie, and with a long-time friend is co-producing a short film that grapples with the issues of bullying and youth suicide in a modern South Auckland setting.

Eighteen hard months later they had a script for a fourteen and a half minute film that Alex realised was worthy of higher technical values and the associated higher budget. That quality has been recognised by many outside the initial group and Alex and his partner have been able to attract successful and highly skilled help as well as some “big budget” equipment at a much smaller budget cost.

Funding came from the Film Commission in the form of a Fresh Ten $10,000 grant and was supplemented by $12,000 from a “Boosted” campaign and a further $4,500 from a three-day intensive hip hop dance class.

Some of the film is being shot at Tangaroa College, the school that one of the writers, Sampson attended and the presence of the equipment, the cast and the large crew is creating considerable pride and optimism in the school.

The film deals with the issues faced by a young Pasifika school student who is different to his peers and an outsider and a young woman who had previously enjoyed being one of the “in crowd” and a bully. The issues of bullying especially via the use of social media and the consequent suicide risks are ones that do need to be addressed in New Zealand. Alex is hopeful that as well as being a great movie that will do well at international film festivals and lead to bigger things for Run Charlie, the movie will also resonate with and help, young people in New Zealand.