New Zealand film “RIVER OF FREEDOM” is set to release next month, with film premiere events in Auckland on September 5th at The Civic, Christchurch on September 6th at Hoyts Riccarton, and Wellington on September 7th at The Embassy.
Following the premieres, New Zealand audiences will have the opportunity to experience this masterfully crafted documentary in selected cinemas nationwide.
“RIVER OF FREEDOM” was made by professional filmmakers, present during the convoy & occupation, to document the heart of the protest—the largest protest in New Zealand’s recent history. Thousands of Kiwis came together and travelled the length and breadth of the country, waved on by those who lined the roads and overbridges in support of the convoy making its way to Wellington. Together they united to make a stand for democracy and bring an end the vaccine mandates. This is their story.
Director Gaylene Barnes expressed her excitement about the film’s premiere, saying,
“It has been a privilege to listen, learn and connect with the many voices of the people as we’ve been building this film over the last year and a half – there has been much laughter, as well as many tears in the edit suite. The kind words and support we’ve received from so many thousands of people has been truly humbling and has encouraged us on. I’m really looking forward to finally sharing this documentary with the wider community who will hopefully gain a deeper, more empathetic understanding of the Parliament protesters.”
Producer Jared Connon said “Breathing life into this film and delivering its message of unity and resilience has been both an honour, and a personal highlight for me as a filmmaker. The importance of this document as a record of New Zealand’s history is something we do not take lightly, as it carries the voice of the many people who were ignored when they needed to be heard the most.”
Iconic global music legends Eric Clapton and Right Said Fred have both generously contributed music to the soundtrack for RIVER OF FREEDOM. The remainder is packed full of local talent who were proud to support the film. Among these, multi-award winning artists Jason Kerrison, Aly Cook, and Grammy nominee Russel Walder – our composer, as well as Katana, Matiu Te Huki, Franko Heke, Luke Hurley, Dr. Reknaw, Tobias Tahi, Not My Aunty, Coral Pitcher, Francis Maxino, Joydah Mae, Mihirangi, R.E.D, FiBu, Grand Prix, Pepe Becker and Nicholas Hancox – many of whom were present and performed throughout the occupation in Wellington.
“RIVER OF FREEDOM” was funded entirely by supportive Kiwis who generously donated to the crowdfunding campaign and have been eagerly awaiting news of the release.
The project was also supported by hard-working film professionals who contributed thousands of volunteer-hours during the protest as well as during post production.
Among these – Mark Lapwood, an acclaimed cinematographer with over 25 years experience, made his name filming documentaries, features, commercials and music videos. He’s passionate about human rights and loved the opportunity to film this important project, capturing authentic people’s stories at such a pivotal time in our history.
As well as – Producer Julian Arahanga; an actor, writer, and director who has a passion for storytelling and over 30 years experience in the industry. He believes that “no matter people’s political views, ‘River Of Freedom’ is an inside look at one of the most important moments in New Zealand history.”
Director Gaylene Barnes and Producer Jared Connon together formed Braided Films to bring their shared vision of this story to life. They welcome interview requests and look forward to sharing more about the film’s inspirations and challenges.
Premiere Tickets and Event Information can be found here.