The supernatural is alive and well in Christchurch with the world premiere of The Changeover just around the corner.
The young adult film is about a teenager who must ‘change over’ and become a witch in order to save her little brother from an evil spirit.
It was shot in Christchurch in 2016 using locations in the city centre such as the Dance-O-Mat and the cleared residential red zone.
The film is based on a wildly-popular young adult novel by New Zealand author Margaret Mahy.
The movie adaption, by husband-and-wife film directors Miranda Harcourt and Stuart McKenzie, will premiere at the Isaac Theatre Royal in central Christchurch on September 25.
McKenzie, who was born and bred in Christchurch, says the city is the “spiritual home” of The Changeover as it is where Margaret Mahy lived and did her work.
The story was updated to fit “a dynamic city in the midst of change” and filming was welcomed to the city by Ngai Tahu in a moving whakatau.
The Changeover stars young Maori actors Erana James and Benji Purchase, who play Laura and Jacko.
They feature alongside Harry Potter actor Timothy Spall and Nicholas Galitzine and other Kiwi stars Melanie Lynskey, Lucy Lawless and Dame Kate Harcourt.
Mahy, who died in 2012, is renowned internationally as the godmother of the young adult genre.
Her novel, The Changeover, was first published in 1984 in Britain and the United States and immediately won the Carnegie Medal.
The Guardian described it as “a seamless combination of supernatural thriller and entirely authentic teenage story”.