Director Christine Jeffs revisits Rain

By Harry Evans 

On April 8th, the Wellington Film Society welcomed esteemed New Zealand director Christine Jeffs to introduce our screening of her 2001 film Rain.  

Joining her in attendance were John Toon, the cinematographer of Rain and Christine’s other films (including Sylvia and Sunshine Cleaning) and Carl Shuker, the author of the novel A Mistake, which forms the basis of Christine’s latest film, due out in the second half of this year. 

WFS was delighted to host Christine, John and Carl at our screening, and hearing from Christine deepened our appreciation of this film that captures a family’s fading innocence during a long summer holiday in the 1970s.

Rather than delivering a formal address, Christine offered an informal and insightful conversation with WFS President, Harry Evans, about her filmmaking journey and the genesis of Rain.

When asked about the lead-up to making Rain, Christine provided glimpses into her life during that period, shedding light on her training as an editor, her early short Stroke and some of the struggles around getting Rain, her first feature, funded.

Christine spoke about how she was interested in using film to create evocative images for the audience, creating lots of “visual space” for viewers to add their own memories and feelings to. She also shared some fun production stories, and discussed working with the child actors, capturing real, unguarded moments that added depth and realism.

Looking forward, Christine shared some details about her upcoming project, A Mistake, based on Carl Shuker’s novel. We’re excited about seeing this film later this year.

Rain is an impactful experience, whether you’ve seen it before or if our screening was your first time. Christine herself hadn’t seen the film in some years and was moved to see it again with the large and warm WFS audience.

WFS was delighted to be able to connect our audience with a local filmmaker and we think the experience was mutually enriching. We love bringing our screenings to members, and doing extra things like this is a delight.