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"A wise, sweet, moving film... it made me cry." 

- David Larsen, METRO


Darcy (Jennifer Ward-Lealand) a composer sees colours when she plays musical notes. When she notices her usually subtle colours changing to an intense red – she realises a profound change is upon her. Over a summer month as the house and garden resonate with the bustle of a wedding. Darcy creates for herself a time of music and reflection that help her make a final choice​

VERMILION tells the story of a group of women who are close to each other – mothers, daughters, friends and neighbours. Some of their relationships are good and some are broken.


Jennifer Ward-Lealand - Darcy 


Jennifer Ward-Lealand has a long and distinguished career as actor and director. Since training at Auckland's influential Theatre Corporate, she has worked extensively in film, theatre, and television for more than 35 years. She has excelled in both dramatic and comedic roles, as well as numerous roles in musical theatre and cabaret.


The lead role of Darcy in Vermilion is a welcome return to the cinema screen. Her portrayal of Dorothea in the iconic feature film Desperate Remedies earned her the Best Actress award at the International Festival of Fantasy Film at Sitges, Spain in 1993. Other feature films include Fracture, The Footstep Man and The Ugly.

Peter Feeney ​- Peter

Peter Feeney’s professional acting career kicked off in 1994 after an Honours degree in Politics and History from Melbourne University, graduate study in Moscow and a Drama Diploma from Auckland University. His roles range from playing maligned NZ filmmaker Cecil Holmes (in 1995 docudrama Seeing Red) to a deranged hunter (in 2000 teleplay Possum Hunter), to an eccentric father (in 2013 coming-of-age short film Birdsong).


Along the way he has acted in a number of based-on-a-true-story TV movies: the award-winning Abandoned (as John Glennie, skipper of capsized trimaran the Rose Noelle), Operation Overdue (about the Erebus disaster recovery mission) and Siege (about a gunman holed up in a Napier suburb).

Dorthe Scheffmann - Director, Writer, Producer 

Dorthe Scheffmann was born in Denmark and immigrated to New Zealand as a child. She began her career on the 1976 New Zealand film Sleeping Dogs, notable as the first film of the new wave of New Zealand feature films. After a decade of working on many of the seminal New Zealand films of that period, Dorthe formed This is it Ltd a television commercial production company for which she has produced and directed television commercials. In 1993, with then-partner Stuart Dryburgh, she set up Ponsonby restaurant SPQR – designed as a vehicle for the funding of film projects. SPQR allowed Dorthe to direct her first short films – The Beach and The Bar. The Beach was selected in competition at the Cannes Film Festival 1996 and won the Francois Ode prize at the 1996 Hamburg Short Film Festival. The Funeral her third short Film was made in 1998. 


Since then, her interest and focus has been on women’s cinema. This is reflected in the projects she has developed and in her Master of Philosophy, AUT University (2011) thesis A Feminine Language in Cinema. She was until recently a senior lecturer in Screen at the UNITEC Performing Arts School. She is currently a PHD student at AUT in Auckland and is also developing a number of projects.

Emily Campbell - Zoe


Emily Campbell plays Zoe Originally from Hamilton, Emily graduated from University of Waikato in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in theatre studies and a Bachelor of Music (Hons) majoring in violin performance. She plays the violin as part of her portrayal of Zoe in Vermilion. She went on to train at The Actors’ Program in 2015.


After working on Vermilion, Emily played Peri in The Shannara Chronicles, the MTV fantasy series filmed in Auckland. Her other credits include the web series Longshots, Flatmate Wanted and Touch Wood; feature film The Most Fun You Can Have Dying and short films The Engagement Party, Like there’s No Tomorrow and Andy.

Theresa Healey - Sarah

Theresa Healey’s most recent screen role was as Vivian Trubridge in TVNZ’s series Filthy Rich. She has a long career in television, most notably her popularity as Carmen Roberts in the early days of New Zealand’s long-running soap opera Shortland Street. She played Alison in Go Girls, Helen Irwin in The Blue Rose, Dee in Cover Band and Sandi in Agent Anna, as well as significant guest roles in The Brokenwood Mysteries and Harry.


In American television productions, she played Celeste in Xena: Warrior Princess, Hildy Southerlyn in Murder in Greenwich and Madelyn Pugh in Lucy, the Lucille Ball biopic filmed in New Zealand. In 1997, she played the lead in Hercules & Xena: Magic of the Gods, a theme park attraction movie for Universal Studios.