How it all began…
In 2005, New Zealand film and television producer John Barnett attended the premiere of Roseanne Liang’s documentary feature film, Banana in a Nutshell, at the New Zealand International Film Festival. The documentary traced the story of Liang’s real life cross-cultural romance with her European New Zealand boyfriend, Stephen, and the challenge of getting her traditional Chinese parents to accept him.
Barnett was impressed by what he saw. “I was struck by the universal nature of the story,” he says. “And it was told with heart and with compassion and I thought it would make a terrific feature film. So, straight after the screening I went up to Roseanne and said ‘do you want to make a film?”
Naturally, Liang jumped at the chance. “That was the ‘angels chorus’ moment I think,” she says. “Most film graduates want the opportunity to make a feature film and it’s a really hard road. But to have someone stride up to you and offer it to you is an incredibly lucky happenstance.”