Toronto Premiere for New Film Starring Rena Owen
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Toronto Premiere for New Film Starring Rena Owen

12 Aug 2014, Posted by in ARTICLES & INTERVIEWS

Toronto Premiere for New Film Starring Rena Owen
NZfilm, October 1, 1998

Garth Maxwell’s new feature When Love Comes had its world premiere last month at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Rena Owen, internationally acclaimed star of Once Were Warriors, is the star of this feature, and she was at Toronto with the director to introduce the premiere screenings.

The film will next screen at the Mifed market in Milan in November.

Six friends and three kinds of love – these are the elements in Garth Maxwell’s new film.

Rena Owen plays Katie, an international singing star, who comes home from Los Angeles to reassess her life.

She moves in with Stephen (Simon Prast), her best friend and the only person she allows herself to lean on.

Stephen has been playing all her old hits, much to the bemusement of his younger friend Mark (Dean O’Gorman) who’s a songwriter with heaps of potential. But while Mark’s interest is piqued by this star from Stephen’s past, he’s getting to know two outrageous and ambitious young musicians of the new generation. They’re played by Sophia Hawthorne and Nancy Brunning.

And then there’s Eddie – Katie’s friend from L.A.

“My strongest desire has been trying to define something about how people really live, rather than some vague notion of entertainment that tries to predict what people want,” says the director. “But I also wanted something where people would walk out smiling.

“The film revolves around six characters who aren’t intensely neurotic, but are on the verge of some crisis. They don’t have the individual strength to help themselves, but together they find a way to interact towards their goals.”

Maxwell praises his leading actress Rena Owen as “a really thrilling, original and complex actress who has an electrifying screen presence. She has great heart and she’s brilliantly equipped to go into difficult areas. She walked in with a lot of ideas and emotional understanding, so we were very lucky.

“Working with Rena was a genuine honour. She made the character fly.”

Producer Michele Fantl says the role required “intensity and power. It seemed like a bolt of inspiration to be able to cast Rena.”

Rena Owen, whose internationally-acclaimed performance as Beth in Once Were Warriors won her the best actress award at the Montreal Film Festival, was at Cannes this year in Rolf de Heer’s new Australian feature [Dance] Me To My Song, which was in competition.

“I’ve always had a policy where every role has to be different from the previous one, and Katie certainly fits that description,” says Rena Owen.

“I thought the script was daring, and had a real honesty and sincerity. It’s a human story dealing with realistic relationships.

Producer John Dowling says: “What Rena delivers in the film has real resonance and depth.”

When Love Comes was written by Garth Maxwell, Rex Pilgrim and Peter Wells, and it is produced by Michele Fantl and Jonathan Dowling for MF Films, in association with the New Zealand Film Commission which is handling international sales.


© NZfilm

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