How to Meet Girls from a Distance

“Basically there’s an overwhelming number of reasons for not stalking people.”

Director: Dean Hewison
Year: 2012
Country: New Zealand
Running time: 85 mins
Censor Rating: R13 - offensive language, sexual references

Producers: Ruth Korver, Andrew Beattie
Executive producer: Ant Timpson
Screenplay: Dean Hewison, Richard Falkner, Sam Dickson
Photography/Editor: Matty Warmington
Production designer: Kate Logan
Production manager: Vanessa Patea

With: Richard Falkner, Scarlet Hemingway, Jonathan Brugh, Aidee Walker, Owen Black, Hannah Clarke, Aroha White, Colleen Cleary

World Premiere

The inaugural winner of the Make My Movie feature film competition is a funny, kooky and rather sweet look at one shy guy’s attempt to find true love via unethical means. Co-writer Richard Falkner plays Toby, an emotionally gun-shy graphic designer who spends his time creating snapshots of fake relationships to please his mother instead of engaging with women in real life. When he spots pretty Phoebe he springs into action and (with the questionable encouragement of gifted comic Jonathan Brugh’s dodgy ‘date coach’ Carl) decides to become perfect boyfriend material. But this romantically challenged everyman takes pre-dating research to dangerous extremes. (Forget Facebook. It’s amazing what you can learn about people from checking out their recycling.) Writer-director Dean Hewison’s comedy is boisterous and broad but there are some nifty and uniquely oddball touches before it cleverly ties up its loose ends. Sensitive viewers can be assured that the finished product in no way endorses stalking – as either a dating strategy or a lifestyle choice. — Dan Slevin

NZIFF STAFF PICK: Felicity Drace, Taylor Sanders