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Matthew J Saville

Actor, Writer

Matthew J  Saville writes, directs and acts. Born in Durban to a Kiwi mother and South African dad, he grew up in rural New Zealand. At university Saville discovered theatre and film, then studied acting at Toi Whakaari. His Boer War play Kikia te Poa (2005) won acclaim in London. Alongside acting on stage and screen, Saville created kid's cooking show Kune's Kitchen. His directing debut — 2011 short film Hitch Hike — thumbed its way to festivals in Durban and Finland. Surreal follow-up Dive won awards at Kiwi fest Show Me Shorts. In 2021 he directed feature film Juniper, which stars English actor Charlotte Rampling as a cranky grandmother.

Hitch Hike was inspired by three separate events: my experiences of hitchhiking through New Zealand, the story of an adopted friend, and a chance meeting in a bar with a character very similar to Maka. After a few beers, I asked him why he had a swastika tattooed on his face. Matthew J Saville on short film Hitch Hike (2011), his directorial debut