Dylan Haley – Far Out! Film Night

Meet Dylan Haley, a guy with an infectious laugh and the organiser of the monthly Far Out Film Nights at the Dome Cinema.

Dylan grew up in Berkeley, California, a city well-known for its liberalism. An epicentre of the anti-Vietnam war and Free Speech movements of the 60’s in the US, Berkeley has kept that tradition of radical politics and challenging the status quo to this day. “It’s a pretty groovy place” says Dylan that most people born there never leave. But Dylan did leave, initially to go to art school in New York and then to Los Angeles to “surround himself with artists”.

It was while he was living in L.A. that Dylan met Sarah, a Kiwi lass who had ended up immersed in the music industry, starting out DJing in bars and moving into music licencing, with a role placing music in film and Television.

Whilst Dylan still sometimes feels as if being here in Gisborne is some kind of happy accident, the pair made a conscious decision to ditch the rat race and find a place to raise a family of their own. With Sarah’s family all living here, Gisborne was that perfect place and Dylan reckons that in some ways Gisborne and Berkeley share a similar vibe in some ways; a special kind of soul that you don’t just find anywhere.

Since moving to Gisborne five years ago Dylan says he’s been educated on all sorts of things from beekeeping to growing vegetables to fence building, and he’s enjoyed growing friendships built upon shared interests in music and art. However he’d been here for a while when he started to realise how much he was missing chewing the fat about film with other people who were as excited about it as he was.

For Dylan it was time living next to some excellent video stores, first in NY and then LA that really got him into watching movies. It was always something of a solitary endeavour until the company Dylan did graphic design for opened a film distribution wing; restoring old films, repackaging them and redistributing them. Dylan started doing the poster design for the films – something he continues doing to this day – and finding himself surrounded by film nerds, his appreciation for film and talking about it with others, was thoroughly entrenched.

In his early days of Gisborne living Dylan would wander over to the Ballance Street Village to grab some lunch from the bakery. He’d often stop by at Retro, to yarn with Ro Darrall. When Sally from the Dome Cinema also showed up at the shop on one of those occasions, Ro prompted Dylan to share his idea for a regular film night showing classic films with her. Sally was sold, and in true Gizzy-styles, Far Out Film Night was born.

So what is Far Out Film Night? Each month Dylan chooses a film from his own personal catalogue of favourites. He goes for films that have stood the test of time but that are also somehow a little fringe-y, left of centre, usually with some kind of anti-hero theme, and always with substance.

Getting the rights to screen any particular film is an exercise which can have Dylan communicating directly with the family of deceased filmmakers or the original film producers and it’s a part of the process he enjoys.

On the night Dylan introduces the film, touching on anything from the social or political history which may have shaped the film, to the backgrounds of particular actors, fun facts about the director or the likes. He is passionate about the films he shows, as an intentional curation of some of  the best films that have ever been made. He especially relishes seeing old films on the big screen, likening the experience to time machine travel into the past.

For Dylan the Far Out Film Nights have achieved his own personal goal in finding people to talk film with, with some of the regulars soon becoming firm friends, and for Gisborne people, it’s an opportunity to enrich both our cultural and social lives; an opportunity to step out of our own lives for a couple of hours to experience someone else’s reality, in another time and place.

Far Out Film Night is on the last Tuesday of the month (that’s tonight!) at the Dome Cinema. The doors open for pizza and toasty hang outs from 5pm and the film starts at 6:30pm. Bookings are essential (027 590 2117) because these nights are pretty popular!

Tonight’s film is a documentary about the life of pianist and jazz great, Thelonious Sphere Monk. Featuring live performances by Monk and his band, and interviews with friends and family about the offbeat genius, Dylan reckons this is another banger of a film!

Bonus Hot Tips from Dylan:

#1 If you are searching for something quality to watch on Netflix right now, look for the film Crip Camp. Not only does it prominently feature Dylan’s hometown, he reckons it will have you remembering what we are all here for.

#2 If you’re wanting to break free of Netflix you might want to check out streaming platform mubi.com – comparable in price to other platforms, available in NZ and good for films in particular.

You can follow the Far Out Film Night on Instagram @far.out.film.night

Plant-based Locals: Tess Stevens

In the third episode of Plant-based Locals, Alex talks to to Tess Shaw, a chef and mum bringing her family up vegan. Amongst sharing her thoughts on making the transition to a plant-based lifestyle she shares a really easy and delicious-sounding vegan Mac n’ ‘cheese’ recipe! Thanks for talking to us Tess..

THIS IS THE ESSENCE OF TAIRĀWHITI /JANUARY 27, 2021

This is the Essence of Tairāwhiti, a one day event celebrating local producers and providers, hunter gatherers, and performers. All of these elements collide to produce an energetic vibe for sharing kai. Unlike other food festival models that provide space for vendors to compete for customers, Essence of Tairāwhiti provides a space of equal footing; where your all-inclusive ticket enables you to taste everything from everyone. That’s a lot of kai. You could say it’s a real ‘bang for your buck’, or more so, for your puku. 

We’re talking 1kg worth of kai. Can you handle it? But what’s even better is that the kai is locally sourced from passionate hunter gatherers of our region, from Ruatoria all the way down to Morere, “from both sides of the maunga and moana”. The freshly caught kai is then publicly prepared by incredible local chefs. And if you’re not already plump with anticipation, the kai is also cleverly paired with wines from local wineries such as Long Bush, Spade Oak, TW and Bushmere. This is a foodie’s Utopia.  

Already floundering for a ticket?

Surely you’re as interested as I was to find out who is delivering a food festival of this magnitude. I recently had the pleasure of meeting local foodies Katie and Drew Hill, and their fellow collaborator Stephane Dussau. The trio tautoko the vision of this kaupapa; to feed souls with goodness through sharing local produce and knowledge.

The trio understand more than the recipes one can scribe up in the kitchen. What better way to manaaki visitors than with a philosophy that emulsifies community through food?  

Drew and Katie are also producers of The Food Cartel, with a business model that simmers with the same philosophy; sharing local kai, supporting and educating diets. Stephane Dussau, ex-owner and Chef of Marina Restaurant adds a flame to this mix. Not only with his focus on quality (and we’re talking Michelin star quality!), but because he has a deep desire to celebrate this region.

It’s starting to sound as though the trio have always been destined to do this. In fact, in watching Drew and Katie interact with Stephane, you too would have sworn that they had known one another for years. Lounging over the backyard couches and seamlessly bouncing kōrero off of one another. Lifelong friends, surely. Stephane told me that he’s been hanging out with the pair for only one month. I was shucked.

The value and philosophy behind Essence of Tairāwhiti is clearly contagious, with local businesses offering support by way of time and resources. They’ve snagged local hunter gatherers from all over the motu, such as Sam the trap man, Hunting with Tui and many more who will demonstrate their knowledge and share their passions for hunting and gathering kai and kaimoana. 

Essence of Tairāwhiti also aims to educate diets. The trio shared with me a story of their own journey, where they recently headed down to the beach to collect seaweed to see if they could cook it. They collected neptune’s necklace and brown kelp and made seaweed fritters,

“We’re learning things as well. Seaweed tastes like mushroom and aubergine. Then we added kelp, and kelp is like chilli!”

The three often reflect back to lockdown, where we all learnt that one can definitely not eat money. However one can learn how to be self-sufficient and sustainable; how to grow and gather kai, and Essence of Tairāwhiti aims to demonstrate just how accessible kai can be in our region.

To help you along on your own educational journey, food passports showcasing the 22 tastings will be provided. The idea behind this kaupapa is not only to guide your memory (after one too many wines), but also provide a recipe for each tasting so that you’ll be able to recreate these dishes for your whānau and friends. Now that’s clever.

How will I get there you ask? Well, Essence of Tairāwhiti have got you covered. A bus ticket to and from the festival is all-inclusive to ensure you travel safe. Your destination is the dreamy stables of the A&P Showgrounds where you will be greeted with an etched glass and tote bag for your own hunting and gathering. Representatives from each hapu and iwi of Tairāwhiti will be at the showgrounds to greet and welcome you through pōwhiri.

Stepping into the space you’ll be greeted with an intimate environment; boutique furniture and umbrellas beckoning you to sit, relax and be merry.  A retail space will be selling platters and locally made craft wares. There will even be spot prizes. 

And what’s a celebration without music? There will be DJ sets from locals Steve King and Campbell Ngata, as well as live music from the Lazy Fifty. These tunes are sure to have you muddling on the dance floor, if not happily poaching in your seat. A festival saturating you in good vibes.

This unique kaupapa of celebrating our region through kai is what we’ve all been waiting for. Surf and Turf made from venison, wild hare and paua? Yum, yes please.

Essence of Tairāwhiti will be opening its doors to your palate on the 27th of February, starting at 3pm sharp all the way to boogie town, 8pm. Go on, you should probably get that ticket.

Story by Jordan Walker

Photograph X Tink Lockett @uniquelytinkphotography

PLANT-BASED LOCALS – RENEE RAROA

Gizzy Local’s Alex Andrews talks to some locals about their plant-based lifestyles and what it’s like being vegan in Te Tairāwhiti. In this first episode Alex talks to long-time vegan, Renee Raroa who is also one of the people behind the Facebook Page, Vegans of Tairāwhiti, a social group for vegans, plant eaters and those keen to transition to being vegan.

PLANT-BASED LOCALS: TIAGO KERBER

In this episode of Plant-Based Locals, Alex Andrews talks to Tiago Kerber. Tiago moved to a vegan way of life about the same time as he moved to Gisborne about two years ago. For those of you who haven’t found it yet, Tiago and friends recently opened up a dedicated vegan joint called Zephyr, based in the former Wainui Store. It’s an awesome addition to our Gisborne eateries catering to plant-based locals. We love your commitment Tiago, thanks for investing in our community with such a whole-hearted vision!

REVIVE AT REVIVE FESTIVAL

Revive is a three-day-long festival being brought to life by two brothers Jock and Sam alongside an array of collaborators from all over the country here in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa, Gisborne from the 2nd of January 2021. 

Despite sitting bang in the middle of Summer Festival season, Revive is not your average summer festival, aiming as it does to elevate its attendees to a state of uplift, joy, connectedness, and wellbeing, with a whole lot of fun as we transition into a brand new year. 

After resigning from their jobs as Geotechnical Engineers Sam and Jock decided to finally action an old dream that had lain dormant for some time – a soul mission to help improve the mental health of Kiwi communities, through making wellness and holistic health more mainstream and accessible.  The idea of a Festival in which people can show up as they are and gain useful lessons and experiences to either start or further a personal wellbeing journey became the starting point for their mission. 

Sam and Jock spent the winter of 2020 traveling the country, North to South, sleeping in the rooftop tent on Sam’s truck and visiting every holistic health establishment they could find, from organic produce stores to yoga studios, wellness teachers, instructors, speakers, and health advocates seeking out like-minded folk keen on contributing to the vision.

The result of that trip is Revive Festival, which they describe as three days of conscious celebration, a combination of wellness retreat and music festival; bringing together experiences that move participants physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Live music, light and art installations, delicious nourishing food, speakers and workshops in yoga, meditation, breathwork, fitness, ecstatic dance, healing, art, and wellness make up the lineup, which can also be seen as a toolbox of tricks with which to set out on a more connected, present and joyful 2021.

Revive Festival is also an opportunity to experience a tranquil and magical setting with lowland native bush, some of the country’s oldest trees as well as viognier grape vineyards; a lush setting in which to ground yourself and reset. The standard ticket price includes camping, but there are also VIP glamping options available. Having both lost friends to mental health, an emphasis on Mental Health awareness is key for both Jock and Sam and a sum of their revenue will be donated to the mental health foundation of New Zealand.

Jock and Sam encourage people to ‘come as you are and leave inspired for more’. They hope that Revive will be a time and a space in which for people to connect with themselves and their tribe, from which people will take away useful lessons and experiences that will ultimately make their health and wellbeing journeys easy, realistic, and enjoyable.

* Day Passes are available/kids under 12 are FREE/12-15 year olds half price

You can check out the details and purchase your tickets for Revive Festival 2021 here: 

www.ticketfairy.com/event/revive-festival-nz-2jan2021

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