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The Pursuit of True Love in New Zealand: Same But Different, a True New Zealand Love Story


Same But Different: A True New Zealand Love Story




If you are looking for a romantic comedy that is not only funny and heartwarming, but also authentic and diverse, you might want to check out Same But Different: A True New Zealand Love Story. This film is inspired by the real-life relationship of Kiwi-Samoan writer/director Nikki Si'ulepa and producer Rachel Aneta Wills, who met at a Māori film festival and fell in love despite their cultural differences and personal challenges. The film follows Rachel, a single working mum in Auckland, who breaks a three-year spell of singledom to pursue her feelings for Nikki, a charismatic filmmaker from Samoa. Along the way, they have to deal with family expectations, social pressures, and their own insecurities, while also discovering the joys of love and laughter.


The film stars Robyn Paterson as Rachel and Hannah Martin as Nikki, who deliver charming and natural performances as the lead couple. They are supported by a talented cast of actors who play their friends, family members, and co-workers, creating a realistic and relatable depiction of contemporary New Zealand society. The film also features beautiful scenery of Auckland and Samoa, as well as a catchy soundtrack of local music.




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The Inspiration Behind the Film




The film is based on the true story of Nikki Si'ulepa and Rachel Aneta Wills, who met in 2013 at Wairoa Māori Film Festival, where Nikki was screening her short film Snow in Paradise. They felt an instant connection, but they also faced many obstacles in their relationship. Nikki had to overcome her internalized homophobia and come out to her conservative Samoan family, while Rachel had to balance her career as a lawyer and her role as a mother of two children from a previous marriage. They also had to deal with racism, sexism, and homophobia from society at large.


They decided to turn their story into a film as a way of sharing their experiences and celebrating their love. They wrote the script together, drawing from their own memories and conversations. They also produced the film through their own company RAW Productions, which stands for Rachel Aneta Wills. They wanted to create a film that was honest, humorous, and hopeful, and that would resonate with other LGBTQ+ people and people of color who struggle to find representation in mainstream media.


The Making of the Film




The film was made on a low budget, with the help of crowdfunding campaigns, grants from New Zealand Film Commission and other organizations, and donations from friends and family. The film was shot in 18 days in Auckland and Samoa, with a crew of mostly women and people of color. The film was edited by Annie Collins, a veteran editor who has worked on films such as Scarfies, Out of the Blue, The Strength of Water, and One Thousand Ropes.


The film was a collaborative effort between Nikki Si'ulepa as the director, Rachel Aneta Wills as the executive producer, Robyn Paterson as the co-producer and lead actor, Hannah Martin as the lead actor and associate producer, and Kerry Warkia as the producer and casting director. They all contributed to the creative vision and execution of the film, and brought their own perspectives and experiences to the story. The film also involved many other talented and passionate people who worked behind and in front of the camera, making the film a true labor of love.


The Reception of the Film




The film premiered at the New Zealand International Film Festival in 2019, where it received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. The film was praised for its authenticity, humor, and heart, and for its representation of LGBTQ+ people and people of color in a positive and nuanced way. The film also won the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the Wairoa Māori Film Festival, where it all began.


The film has since been screened at various film festivals around the world, such as Frameline San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival, Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and BFI Flare London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival. The film has also been distributed online and on demand, reaching a wider audience and generating more buzz and feedback.


The film has had a significant impact on the LGBTQ+ community and the New Zealand film industry, as it showcases the diversity and talent of Kiwi filmmakers and actors, and tells a story that is rarely seen on screen. The film has also inspired many people to embrace their identity and love, and to support each other in their journeys.


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The Message of the Film




The film explores themes of identity, culture, family, and love, and how they shape our lives and relationships. The film shows how Rachel and Nikki navigate their personal and professional challenges, as well as their cultural differences and similarities. The film also shows how they deal with the expectations and opinions of their families, who have different views on their sexuality and their relationship. The film portrays the struggles and joys of being a lesbian couple in New Zealand, as well as being a Kiwi-Samoan couple in a predominantly white society.


The film also celebrates the diversity and beauty of New Zealand and Samoa, and their cultures and traditions. The film showcases the rich history and heritage of both countries, as well as their contemporary realities and challenges. The film highlights the importance of respecting and honoring one's roots, while also embracing one's individuality and choices.


The film ultimately delivers a message of hope and love, and how they can overcome any obstacle or difference. The film shows how Rachel and Nikki grow as individuals and as a couple, and how they find happiness and fulfillment in each other. The film also shows how they inspire others to be themselves and to follow their dreams. The film encourages the viewers to be open-minded and compassionate, and to celebrate diversity and love in all its forms.


Where to Watch the Film




If you are interested in watching Same But Different: A True New Zealand Love Story, you have several options to choose from. You can watch the film online or offline, depending on your preference and availability.


One option is to watch the film on , where you can rent or buy the film as well. Both platforms offer high-quality streaming services, with subtitles available in different languages.


Another option is to watch the film on , where you can stream the film for free if you have


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