Betty Banned Sweets
Twenty-three-year-old Benjamin and his mother have a strangely co-dependent relationship, much to Benjamin's growing disdain. To escape it, he retreats into his studio and his shoe-boxed sized models of the places he is desperate to visit.
While Benjamin obsessively creates dioramas and makes plans to get away, his mother obsessively plans an unwanted birthday party for him.
By the day of the party, Benjamin's decision for the immediate future will have been made, but not necessarily by him.
DIRECTORS NOTES - Michelle Savill
“The idea for a mother and son film popped into my head after reading a newspaper article about an Indian boy who married a hill at his mother’s request. The boy claimed that he had no regrets about doing so. The devotion he must have had for his mother amazed me and I decided to adapt it into a New Zealand setting. I also wanted to make a kind of frustrated film about someone who really wanted to travel but never quite gets to. I have many friends who dream about travelling but never quite get around to it. It seems like a lot of people in New Zealand are waitingfor their lives to start with a trip overseas.
Betty Banned Sweets is a production filmed in Hamilton. I was lucky to find such talented actors who had an ability to express the characters in a natural and subdued tone. This film is Matt Scheurich’s first time acting, and while Lee Hutson has theatre experience; this was her first short film. Matt Scheurich was not originally cast to play the part of Benjamin, I asked him to do it a week before we started filming because the original actor pulled out. Matt had the exact look that I wanted, and I was overjoyed to discover that he could act really well. I now can’t imagine anyone else in that role. We filmed over six weekends in September and although Hamilton has very unpredictable weather but we were fortunate to have clear skies every weekend. Each room was filmed in a different house and the rooms were completely refurnished and decorated for the shoot. As a result there was no chance for pick-ups and thankfully we did not need to do any.”