Set in Central Otago in the drought-parched summer of 1975, gay-themed feature film 50 Ways of Saying Fabulous follows a chubby 12-year-old named Billy (Andrew Paterson) as he embarks on a challenging journey of sexual discovery. Adapting Graeme Aitken's novel, writer/director Stewart Main (Desperate Remedies) depicts a boy escaping into fantasy from the drudgery of farming duties — and learning about himself, his sexuality, and dealing with change. 50 Ways won a Special Jury Award at Italy's Turin International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in 2005.
[Director] Stewart Main had a hunch that his leads would be real life, “authentic country kids” with little or no film experience. Main spent several months on the road travelling to schools all over New Zealand auditioning children for the roles. After an extensive search, Main’s initial hunch was proven correct, and as with Keisha Castle-Hughes of Whale Rider fame, none of the lead children have any previous film experience.– From the 50 Ways of Saying Fabulous press kit