What an amazing premiere week we’ve had for River of Freedom. This has only been possible because of your support. Ngā mihi nui, thank you very much!
We’re continuing to work hard to get the film into cinemas throughout New Zealand. More are coming on everyday, please keep an eye on our Screenings page – this is where we update new cinemas immediately: https://riveroffreedom.nz/index.php/screenings/
Please check out our film’s IMDb page. This is where we grow our international presence to help with release worldwide. If you managed to make it to a premiere or one of the opening nights at your local cinema this weekend, please write a review – and make sure you tag us #RiverofFreedom
🎥 World Premiere, The Civic in Auckland
What a journey we have been on together. An audience of 1363 people gathered together on Tuesday night to experience the film for the first time, at such an elegant location. The Hare Krishnas chanted and drummed outside before the doors opened, immediately transporting cinema-goers to Freedom Village. Friends reconnected in the lobby, some had not seen each other since the NZ Convoy 2022.
Anaru Gray’s karakia opened this auspicious event, blessing the film as it makes it’s journey out into the world. The laughter, the tears, and all kinds of cheers – River of Freedom transported the audience back in time, reigniting the emotions, and fostering that same sense of unity / kotahitanga that was experienced at the Parliament protest.
Franko Heke welcomed Cinematographer Mark Lapwood, Producer Jared Connon, and Director Gaylene Barnes to the stage for the Question & Answer session, while the audience gave a standing ovation. Afterwards everyone mingled and debriefed, and had fun getting photographed together at the media wall. We’ll be posting these on Facebook Album and our website soon – we’re a very small team, please be patient.
🎥 South Island Premiere in Christchurch
Wednesday night saw 438 people at the Sold Out event at Hoyts Riccarton. A beautiful prayer from Father Magdala opened the event, with a huge cheer of appreciation when he popped up on the big screen – again the audience was active in their engagement with the film, finishing with a standing ovation. Meagan hosted an excellent and informative Q&A session with Barnes and Connon, before a relaxed debrief nearby.
A beautiful review greeted us in the morning: “Yesterday I attended the Christchurch premiere of this film. Wow. It was far better than I had anticipated. Amazing storytelling, video footage and editing, an absolute work of art. I highly recommend watching” – Kim
🎥 Wellington Premiere at Embassy Theatre
The Capital City premiere sold out early and queues awaited any last minute returned tickets. Pepe Becker sung the music of Hildegarde von Bingen to welcome in the crowd, just as she did on occasion during the occupation. Kura Moeahu joined us to open the evening and Dr. Emanuel Garcia, was master of ceremonies for this event as a “recovered protestor”.
Producer Julian “Sonny” Arahanga joined Connon and Barnes on stage, where they talked about a world where people can unite again despite their differences – an integrated society, without the separation of these past three years. Their hopes are that the film will offer an opportunity to bridge the divide in our society and encourage dialogue.
Now that River of Freedom has been released in cinemas, we would love to see your reviews. You can do this on any of our social media pages, by replying to this newsletter, and MOST importantly, on our IMDb page (click here to see the reviews and add your own!)