Set in gritty backstreets somewhere in downtown Auckland, this short film follows the vicissitudes of Evan, a teenager whose life changes when he skips school and meets a beautiful and troubled stranger. Directed by Michael Duignan (A New Way Home) and produced by Rachel Gardner (Apron Strings, A Show of Hands), Truant is a convincing portrayal of that potent mixture of curiosity and desperation peculiar to adolescence. Truant screened at a number of festivals including the prestigious short film festival in Clermont-Ferrand, France, and the London Film Festival.
Paul Murphy began his diverse screen career in childhood, as part of travelling creative clan Blerta. He went on to work as a grip (grips set up and operate equipment to move the camera) on his father Geoff's feature Never Say Die — and many other productions besides. Paul Murphy moved into directing with 2001 short Sox. In 2007 he directed self-financed feature Second-Hand Wedding; this tale of family, marriages and garage sales proved a big local hit. Next came Rhys Darby romantic comedy Love Birds.