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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.

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 Healy - 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. 

Goretti Chadwick - Sila

Goretti Chadwick plays Sila Goretti Chadwick followed a Diploma in Stage and Screen Acting from Unitec Performing Arts School with extensive theatre experience as an actor, writer and director. Chadwick is one half of comedic duo Pani & Pani (with Anapela Polataivao), whose larger than life PI personas and cheeky euphemisms have spiced up Pasifika youth show Fresh TV, and popular Māori Television reality series Game of Bros (which they host). Her feature film roles include Sione’s Wedding, Apron Strings, The Legend of Johnny Lingo and The Overstayer.


She has played roles in television dramas The Market and Orange Roughies as well as comedy series A Thousand Apologies and Fresh TV. Her most recent role is in the stage show Still Life With Chickens and her other theatre work has been with New Zealand’s foremost Pasifika Theatre practitioners: Jingle Bells (Diana Fuemana); My Name is Gary Cooper (Victor Rodger) and Frangipani Perfume (Makerita Urale).

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. She completed this period as the production supervisor on three feature films: Constance (1983), Pallet on the Floor (1983) and Came a Hot Friday (1984).

In 1993, with then-partner Stuart Dryburgh, she set up Ponsonby restaurant SPQR – which was 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. 

She was until recently a senior lecturer in film at the UNITEC Performing Arts School and has served as a thesis supervisor for the Department of Film and Media Studies at Auckland University. She is currently a PHD student at AUT.



A Dorthe Scheffmann Film | Production companies: MF Films, Thick As Thieves, This Is It | Funding from: NZ Film Commission, NZ On Air and private investors | Distribution NZ: Rialto Distribution | Director/writer/producer: Dorthe Scheffmann | Producer: Nik Beachman |  Producer: Michele Fantl | Associate Producer: Paul Scantlebury | Executive Producer: Josh Egan | Director of Photography: Maria Ines Manchego | Editor: Peter Roberts | Costume Designer: Kristin Seth Sound |  Designer: Dick Reade | Music: Don McGlashan



Nicole van Heerden








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