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Kiwi Christmas Star

Nelson boy SAM CLARK is one of the stars of family feature film, Kiwi Christmas, which will hit New Zealand cinemas on November 30.

The eleven-year-old started acting when he was four or five. His skills and passion grew, and he landed himself roles in school productions. ‘When we heard about auditions, I decided to give it a go. Mum wanted me to sing them a song, but I decided not to. Thank goodness I didn’t sing!’

Filming took place in Auckland at the start of the year. ‘There was a lot of waiting – we would film, film, film, and then we would relax. But, overall, the experience was super fun – and there was heaps of popcorn!

Keeping his popcorn consumption in check was one of the jobs of Sam’s mum, Louise. ‘My role during filming was to keep him on track with his schoolwork and sleep routines. And to make sure he was still independent, given that there were so many people on-hand to do things for him.’ But, she says, ‘Sam treated the whole thing like work; he was really focused.’

‘I had four mums’, says Sam: ‘my chaperone, my stage mum, my stage sister’s mum, and my normal mum.’ He also acquired a sister. ‘I am an only child and it was fun having a sister. Luca [Andrews] and I got on really well: we are both really goofy.’

Sam says he ‘didn’t get nervous in front of the camera – because you don’t actually imagine millions of people watching the film.’ But there are bound to be some nerves when he watches himself up on the big screen. Excited about seeing the movie, Sam’s family is also excited about summer and Christmas – which, as Sam says, ‘is all about family.’

Santa is disillusioned with what Christmas has become and has gone AWOL – to New Zealand! When his reindeerless-sleigh crashes and sinks in the waters of an idyllic holiday beach, he is found washed up by 8-year-old Sam and his 12-year-old sister Molly and their newly-separated parents. Having discovered his true identity, the family must reunite to rescue him from the local Coast Watch, who has set out to capture him. Ultimately, it falls on young Sam to convince Santa that he must return to the North Pole, and to his old job, in time for Christmas Eve.

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