Local man plays lead in Broken

The film is not about Maori, or New Zealand, but forgiveness.

The film is not about Maori, or New Zealand, but forgiveness.

DARK SIDE: Gisborne police officer Josh Calles plays ex-gang leader Logan in soon-to-be-released film Broken. Picture by Origin Media

WHALE Rider (2002), Boy (2010), The Dark Horse (2014) . . . the East Coast is no stranger to feature films. Over the last decade, these films have thrown the region into the limelight. But what about its people?

Despite telling local stories, these films have rarely featured Gisborne people in lead roles. That is all about to change with soon-to-be-released feature film Broken.

The action drama filmed here earlier in the year by Auckland’s City Impact Church, features more than 25 Gisborne people in scripted roles.

The movie also features local man Josh Calles, who makes his film debut as protagonist Logan.

Basketball fans will remember the actor from his days with the Rising Suns. An impressive three-point buzzerbeater saw a section of the YMCA court named Calles Corner.

Like his on-screen character, Calles is a father, but that’s where the similarities end.

Logan is an ex-gang leader, trying to decide what to do after his daughter is killed by an opposing patch. Calles is a policeman.

While his real life interaction with gangs has been in a professional capacity, Calles says his off-screen work helped him play the part.

“Being in the police definitely helped,” he says.

“Before joining the police I hadn’t seen that part of Gisborne. Gangs are huge in Gisborne. We tried to base the gangs in a Maori setting.”

But Calles says the story is neither about gangs, nor Maori. “It’s a story about forgiveness,” he says.

Director Tarry Mortlock, who also wrote the script, says the film is based on the true story of Tarore, the daughter of a chief from a small marae near Matamata.

A top student at a mission school, Tarore is killed when a warring tribe comes into the area, forcing her tribe to relocate.

Despite a Christian message, Calles says the film has universal appeal.

“Because the essence of the film is based on a true story, it’s very real and tangible. It’s not just happy, clappy Christians on a Sunday. I think that’s where the power of the movie will come from.”

“It’s not so much a Gisborne story. It could be anywhere in New Zealand. It’s not even a New Zealand film, it’s a human film.”

“The colour in this film is unique (to New Zealand) but the stories are the same.”

Calles also believes the film will help shed light on the stressful domestic circumstances many families encounter.

“One of the pioneering movies (in this genre) Once Were Warriors really shocked people. It really made people think about what’s going on in our homes.”

Despite having lots of material to draw on, Calles says aspects of the role were challenging.

“There was a scene where I had to get quite emotional and dark. Being directed was an interesting experience. You think you’re going so far and then they push you so much further.”

“Working with Tarry and his crew, they were just so professional and meticulous. I had no idea all that stuff happened behind the scenes.”

Calles enjoyed the experience, so much so, he is considering swapping professions.

“It was amazing, absolutely amazing,” he says.

“I’m definitely interested in acting. It was about me putting myself out there. It was an amazing project to be part of.”

Broken will premier in New Zealand cinemas in 2017.

WHALE Rider (2002), Boy (2010), The Dark Horse (2014) . . . the East Coast is no stranger to feature films. Over the last decade, these films have thrown the region into the limelight. But what about its people?

Despite telling local stories, these films have rarely featured Gisborne people in lead roles. That is all about to change with soon-to-be-released feature film Broken.

The action drama filmed here earlier in the year by Auckland’s City Impact Church, features more than 25 Gisborne people in scripted roles.

The movie also features local man Josh Calles, who makes his film debut as protagonist Logan.

Basketball fans will remember the actor from his days with the Rising Suns. An impressive three-point buzzerbeater saw a section of the YMCA court named Calles Corner.

Like his on-screen character, Calles is a father, but that’s where the similarities end.

Logan is an ex-gang leader, trying to decide what to do after his daughter is killed by an opposing patch. Calles is a policeman.

While his real life interaction with gangs has been in a professional capacity, Calles says his off-screen work helped him play the part.

“Being in the police definitely helped,” he says.

“Before joining the police I hadn’t seen that part of Gisborne. Gangs are huge in Gisborne. We tried to base the gangs in a Maori setting.”

But Calles says the story is neither about gangs, nor Maori. “It’s a story about forgiveness,” he says.

Director Tarry Mortlock, who also wrote the script, says the film is based on the true story of Tarore, the daughter of a chief from a small marae near Matamata.

A top student at a mission school, Tarore is killed when a warring tribe comes into the area, forcing her tribe to relocate.

Despite a Christian message, Calles says the film has universal appeal.

“Because the essence of the film is based on a true story, it’s very real and tangible. It’s not just happy, clappy Christians on a Sunday. I think that’s where the power of the movie will come from.”

“It’s not so much a Gisborne story. It could be anywhere in New Zealand. It’s not even a New Zealand film, it’s a human film.”

“The colour in this film is unique (to New Zealand) but the stories are the same.”

Calles also believes the film will help shed light on the stressful domestic circumstances many families encounter.

“One of the pioneering movies (in this genre) Once Were Warriors really shocked people. It really made people think about what’s going on in our homes.”

Despite having lots of material to draw on, Calles says aspects of the role were challenging.

“There was a scene where I had to get quite emotional and dark. Being directed was an interesting experience. You think you’re going so far and then they push you so much further.”

“Working with Tarry and his crew, they were just so professional and meticulous. I had no idea all that stuff happened behind the scenes.”

Calles enjoyed the experience, so much so, he is considering swapping professions.

“It was amazing, absolutely amazing,” he says.

“I’m definitely interested in acting. It was about me putting myself out there. It was an amazing project to be part of.”

Broken will premier in New Zealand cinemas in 2017.

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