James & Isey
A documentary about a son organizing his mum’s hundredth birthday party, in the Far North of New Zealand.
- Florian Habicht
- Full-Length Film
- Subject Matter
- Family, Biography, Culture, Religion & Faith
- Featured In
Ahead of her 100th birthday, Isey and her devoted son James prepare for the party of
a lifetime. Ngāti Manu woman Isey Cross lives with her youngest son, James, on a farm in
Kawakawa, a small town on New Zealand’s North Island. Cheeky and vivacious, the 99-year-old is
preparing to celebrate her centenary. Over the next seven days, as James organizes the festivities,
director Florian Habicht captures their devoted bond – to each other and to the spirit world – as
well as their infectious aroha (love).
Florian Habicht - producer, director
Florian Habicht studied filmmaking at the Elam School of Fine Arts and Binger Filmlab, Amsterdam. He is an innovative and prolific filmmaker. His films have been distributed in over 18 countries. His hybrid NYC romance Love Story opened the New Zealand In- ternational Film Festival in 2011. When Love Story screened at the London Film Festival, Jarvis Cocker of British group Pulp invited Florian to make a music film about Pulp and their last concert in hometown Sheffield. Pulp: a Film about Life, Death & Supermar- kets premiered at SXSW and opened Sheffield Doc/Fest in 2014. It won Best Music Film at the NME Awards in 2015. Florian’s film Kaikohe Demolition 2004, a portrait of a small struggling town with a big heart, is one of New Zealand’s most entertaining and loved documentaries. James & Isey James & Isey 2021 is now one of the top grossing documentaries in Aotearoa of all time.
Other career highlights include winning the Best Decorated Bicycle Award at Paihia Primary School in 1982.
Lani-rain Feltham, producer
Lani-rain Feltham is producer and filmmaker whose addiction to sto- ries and working with story-tellers made her throw-in her university degree in mathematics and computer programming and go work with a veteran documentary maker instead.
Lani has gone on to spend the last 15 years producing numerous doc- umentaries, short films, museum installations and art projects, includ- ing Vincent Ward’s multiscreen work BREATH, the time machine NGA HAU at the Wellington Museum, and WINTER a film by Amie Siegel which played at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
She produced Florian Habicht’s docu-drama, SPOOKERS (Melbourne IFF), a co-production with Madman in Australia and wrote Paora Jo- seph’s film MAUI’S HOOK (Imaginative 2019) which treads a fine line between documentary and fiction, looking at suicide from a Maori worldview. A personal highlight has been mentoring Ngati Whatua Rangatahi (young people) to make a short about the historical dese- cration of their ancestral seabeds and food basket, Okahu Bay.
Last year the screen-adaptation she wrote of Arnon Grunberg’s nov- el the SAINT OF THE IMPOSSIBLE was produced by Dschoint Venshr in Switzerland and shot on location in New York City. She is currently working with Florian to get his dramatic feature film UNDER A FULL MOON into production.