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Rain - Director's introduction



Compiled by: Jack Foley

"I DON'T take particularly take reference from any director, I'm inspired by real people and everyday situations."

Christine Jeffs is one of New Zealand's foremost commercial directors.

She has received national and international awards including a Cannes Lion, and in 1999 was named as the New Zealand Advertising Industry's most popular director by AdMedia.

Her short film Stroke was selected for the Cannes and Sundance Film Festivals, where it screened to public and critical acclaim.

"Christine is an incredibly talented and experience director with a distinctive visual style," says Philippa Campbell. "Rain is a very striking and thought provoking debut."

Jeffs describes the film as emotionally provocative.

"I wanted to convey a sense of the transience, in that relationships come and go, and that the moment is precious. In Rain the audience goes on a journey with a young girl who is exploring complex questions of power and control. Janey makes some serious choices, which have very unexpected results."

Jeffs' wealth of directing experience was invaluable in making Rain.

"I've stood alongside an awful lot of directors and she's one of the very few that has a total grip on what she's doing," says cinematographer John Toon.

"Christine has a remarkable instinct for that moment of performance that rings true," adds Campbell. "During filming, she was constantly searching for a truthful way to portray the situation. This gives her work as a director a real edge."

"Making the film allowed me to work with the crew I normally work with on a bigger scale project, which was good." said Jeffs. She describes the technical side of making the film as "an exercise in restraint", but is very happy with the outcome. "It was good to have the experience of shooting a feature-length film in 32 days."

Asked to name the most important thing she learned from the process, Jeffs laughs. "Don't listen to anything anyone else says."

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