More Top Stories

Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022

Red carpet rolled out at the Empire for world premiere

Monday 13 February 2023 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Entertainment, Features, Local, National


Red carpet rolled out at the Empire for world premiere
Stranded Pearl cast members, from left, Rawiri Paratene, Anand Naidu and Aliesha Rose at the world premiere of the film, which screened at the Empire Cinema in Rarotonga on Saturday evening. 23021302

The red carpet was rolled out on Rarotonga with a packed house for the world premiere of Cook Islands’ film Stranded Pearl.

Moviegoers at the exclusive Saturday evening event were treated to a full length feature film shot on Rarotonga.

From go to whoa, it’s been the brainchild of Cook Islands resident Anand Naidu, a seasoned actor who plays the male lead, while balancing it with producer responsibilities. 

Naidu said there is still colour grading and sound engineering to be completed before the product goes to market in the Pacific and New Zealand next month.      

About 100 people were involved in making of the 90-minute feature, shot on Rarotonga in 2017 and 2018.

They worked on a rough cut through 2019 and looked to release it in 2020 before Covid-19 arrived. 

Naidu said a lot of people had worked long hours to finally bring the film to life in 2023.  

New Zealand distributor Vendetta Films is on board while Naidu, who is the chief financial officer at Air Rarotonga, is also working with a US distributor.

While it is set to be released in the Cook Islands and Fiji next month, it will also screen in 25 cinemas across New Zealand to gauge feedback.

Prime Minister Mark Brown also attended the premiere alongside New Zealand high commissioner to the Cook Islands Tui Dewes, acting Australian high commissioner Ruth Baird, Financial Secretary Garth Henderson, Education secretary Danielle Cochrane, Office of the Prime Minister chief of staff Ben Ponia and representatives from the local businesses and community groups.