Private Project

True Love

A young couple stuck in a small town struggle with the secrets they are keeping from each other.

  • Ray Edwards
  • Ray Edwards
  • Jimmy Crayford - Bollinger
  • Laina Cheung
  • Lance Savali
    Key Cast
  • Lydia Peckham
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, romance
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    July 1, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    4,000 NZD
  • Country of Origin:
    New Zealand
  • Country of Filming:
    New Zealand
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Ray Edwards

Ray grew up closely connected to his iwi, Whakatōhea and Raukawa, in small town New Zealand. He was one of the first students to complete all his schooling in a total immersion Ao Māori environment. Fluent in te reo Māori, his culture informs his love of storytelling. Ray has a cinematic visual quality to his work, that coupled with his natural ability to get a great performance from talent makes him one to watch.
Ray comes from an award winning cinematography background. Short film ‘Falling Up’ garnered him a Silver award for cinematography from The New Zealand Cinematographers Society and Jury prize at the New Zealand International Film Festival. He also won a Gold NZCS award for his Unicef commercial shot in South eastern Ethiopia in the town of Laga.
In 2019 three short films he shot were screened at imagineNATIVE in Toronto to high acclaim. Alongside imagineNATIVE his films have screened at NZIFF, MIFF and Sydney International Film Festival.
Working with Ainsley Gardiner & Briar Grace Smith on the recently released feature film ‘Cousins’, Ray became only the second Māori cinematographer to ever shoot a feature film. Completing this milestone has solidified Rays passion for film making and his desire to transition to directing. In early 2021, Ray took a crew home to Opotiki and shot his short film debut ‘True Love’ on 16mm. It was an incredible experience for him to be able to bring his work home for this special project.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

“I think that I might have something to say and I might be able to say it in an interesting and entertaining way, and maybe someone who is like me who didn’t know anything about this kind of thing will see it and think they could also do it. Or even just see it and know that it is possible to do something like that.”

I grew up in small town New Zealand. Rotorua and Opotiki in the Bay of Plenty are home to me. I have had the privilege of being raised immersed in the language and traditions of my Māori culture. Both are a significant influence in my filmmaking. Storytelling is one of the cornerstones of my culture and it felt like a natural progression for me to use my traditional storytelling skills and couple them with my skills as a filmmaker to tell the stories I think need to be heard

Small town New Zealand was a magical place to grow up in. Being the middle of 7 siblings I was always busy, always being taken the mickey out of and always on an adventure.
Growing up the way we did fuelled the imagination, storytelling at home, at school, at the marae was a pastime and a practice.

On the other hand growing up as an indigenous person in a lower socio economic environment I have always had an awareness of the hardships of life. The displacement of indigenous people, physically and mentally. The loss of culture, the prevalence of gang lifestyle and crime, and the constant negotiation of a truly bi-cultural family and community.

Because I was surrounded by sorrow and hardship, as many people are in life, I see storytelling as a way out and as a way of healing. I now know that due to my unique experience of the world I am in a position to tell the stories of the people around me with authenticity and love. Stories of sorrow and hardship, pain and loss, triumph and love, framed in the experiences of my mum and dad, my friends, my community. These stories need to be told, and transmuted into lessons that can give way to healing.

True love is one of these stories, the story of the hardships that my parents experienced in life, that made them who they are today.