Jubilee is a funny, warm-hearted comedy set in heartland New Zealand. It is the story of Billy Williams, his family and the small town of Waimatua - the sweet potato capital of the world. Billy Williams may be hopeless, but he’s no loser. He’s a likable guy who’s always volunteering to help out where he can, and he’s a great Dad to Lucille and Walter. But unfortunately he never finishes a job and is the world’s worst procrastinator - much to his wife Pauline’s dismay. She’s the one who has to live with the peeling wallpaper and flaking house paint.
Billy’s opportunity to redeem himself comes when Agnes Morrison, the driving force behind the Waimatua School 75th Jubilee, is killed in a tragic bovine semen extraction accident. Billy gets lumbered with the task and he’s determined to prove his worth as the new Jubilee Chairman. He'll organise the mother of all Jubilees! Meanwhile, the impending celebration and the thought of those who will return to Waimatua forces Pauline to question the choices she has made in her life. While Billy fulfills his desire to be the big man around town, Pauline starts renovating herself - finishing all those uncompleted jobs the way she wants. A new woman is in the making. But could Pauline’s desire for self-transformation be connected to the expected arrival of Waimatua alumnus and former international rugby player, Max Seddon? To Billy, the All Black is the star attraction of the reunion; to Pauline, Max represents a life that could have been so different. They were high school sweethearts until Max got the rugby coach’s daughter pregnant and skipped town without saying goodbye. But Billy’s consumed with distractions of his own - organising a Jubilee is more difficult than he anticipated. He’s almost ready to throw in the towel, but when he learns that even his best mates never expected him to succeed with the task, he becomes determined to go the extra mile and the Jubilee slowly comes together. For a small town in decline, the Jubilee gives everyone something to look forward to and Billy wins a new-found respect in Waimatua. Billy regains his confidence and when the celebrations culminate in a brawl with the local motorcycle gang, Pauline is reminded why she chose to be with Billy. Not because he is a celebrity, but because he has a heart of gold. As for Billy, the successful 75th Jubilee has earned him a place in the history of Waimatua.
Based on the book Jubilee by Nepi Solomon.
Hawaii International Film Festival-USA 2000; Douarenenez Cinema-France 2001; New Deli - NZ Retrospective 2003;
Colour; 35mm; Dolby