The Breaker Upperers, a New Zealand production made by the very talented Madeline Sami and Jackie van Beek – who wrote, directed and starred in it – has received rave reviews after its debut at one of the world’s top international film festivals, South by South West (SXSW) in Austin, Texas.

Reviewers’ comments included: “…hysterically funny jokes, infectious energy and an honest story about friendship being the most important relationship..”; "…about as charming and funny as they come…"; "The whole thing has great energy and might be one of the funniest films I've seen this year (or last)."

The feature film was shot in Auckland last April and May and features some of our beautiful central city parks and character-filled streets.

It is an edgy comedy about two women who discover that they are in the awkward position of dating the same man. Bitter and cynical about love, they decide to form a company designed to help people transition out of relationships for cash. But it is all put to the test when Mel (Sami) becomes attracted to a client and puts not only their friendship but their business on the line.

The production also stars New Zealanders James Rolleston (Boy) and Rima Te Wiata, Cohen Holloway and Oscar Kightley. It is also produced by New Zealanders Carthew Neal (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Tickled), Ainsley Gardiner (Waru, Boy, Eagle v Shark) and Georgina Allsion Conder (Consent, Boy).

Ainsley Gardiner says Screen Auckland provided excellent help to the production’s shoots involving permits in multiple public locations: “They were able to accommodate last-minute schedule changes and helped coordinate with other productions so we could all use the locations we needed with the least amount of fuss." 

The film was made in association with the New Zealand Film Commission, Wallace Productions and Department of Post, and will be co-distributed in New Zealand by Madman NZ and Piki Films (Taika Waititi’s company). It will hit New Zealand cinemas on 3 May. Check it out.