This entry in 2015 short film omnibus K' Rd Stories is billed as a “love story that’s not as simple as boy meets girl”. Directed by the multi-talented Nikki Si’Ulepa (Snow in Paradise), Aroha begins with Jade (played by K’ Rd denizen and Takatāpui presenter Ramon Te Wake) being stood up at a bar on the iconic strip. Jade’s spirits are lifted by an especially optimistic bartender (Hans Masoe), who muses about aroha, honesty and being open to experience — “I think he chickened out because he’s afraid of love”. But is the bartender’s advice too good to be true?
It was important to me to make Aroha true for the K' Rd community who live and breathe it every day. I decided to write a story about ‘aroha’ — or love — as that was something that I knew about. Then I wanted to bring a real K' Rd person into the mix of the film. Boom — enter Ramon Te Wake who stars as Jade.– Writer/director Nikki Si'ulepa