Director’s Notes

“When you’re young you can make and lose friends very quickly; usually because you’re still figuring out who you are yourself and how you fit in the world. “Truant” is an unrequited love story between two lonely young people. It is about the things we learn that make us adults; Evan may be skipping school, but he is being taught a life lesson. By the end of the story he might have been hurt, but he knows more about himself and the world, and in an emotional sense has grown older.

As Heather Menzies developed the script, I felt as though it was in fact an archetypal story, and that similar episodes could have occurred in many people’s adolescence. With this in mind I wanted to approach the production of Truant as though it were a memory of the events, rather than the events themselves. When I remember stories in my life they come to me in a jumble – snatches of images and words and sounds that I piece together in my mind to try to make sense of. I hoped to mimic this feeling of remembering in the way we put the film together.

I was lucky enough to work with talented people such as Aaron Morton (DOP), Jonno Woodford-Robinson (editor), and Tim Prebble (sound), all of whom embraced this approach and added to it. I was also extremely blessed to find Shanti and Emlyn so quickly in casting; they stood out a hundred miles, and from the first rehearsal it was just a question of helping them to make the characters their own. Kylie Burtland put in many afterhours work to get the score done, and managed to capture the bittersweet mood of the film perfectly. Thanks to my producer Rachel Gardner, and everyone else who worked on the film, I hope you enjoy it.”

Michael Duignan

Technical Info: 
Colour, 35mm, 1:2.35, Dolby SR
Production Year: 
Production Company: 
Maxim Films
2005 - New York Film Festival. 2006 - Tampere International Film Festival, Brisbane International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival. 2007 - Festival du Court Metrage Clermont Ferrand
Sales Agent: 
NZ Film

Key Crew

Director of Photography
Aaron Morton
Jonathan Woodford-Robinson