Tim Porch (Josh Thomson) aspires to be the world’s first Polynesian badminton champion — but a Samoan has already taken the title, so Tongan will have to do. This mockumentary following the ups and downs of his quest won the 2006 48 Hours film making competition. Entrants that year were required to include a mirror, a character called Robin Slade, an eternal optimist, and the line “that’s what I’m talking about”. The team behind it, thedownlowconcept, would go on to win the contest again in 2010 — and pick up a couple of NZ Film Awards in the process — with their short Only Son.
An optometrist by training, Ally Xue won public attention through her work as an actor. In 2010 she appeared in Gibson Group disaster tale Eruption, before joining forces with fellow actors Perlina Lau and JJ Fong — along with director Roseanne Liang — to create web series Flat3. The comical series is based around the occupants of an Auckland flat, with Xue playing the more reserved flatmate. After three seasons they followed up with Friday Night Bites — a collection of one-off stories based around the same characters. Xue's acting CV also includes short film Sugar Hit and TV's Harry and Runaway Millionaires.