Actor Marshall Napier (Came a Hot Friday) has played a good number of unsympathetic cops over his long career. In Bellbird he displays a gentler side, as a Northland dairy farmer who is unable to express himself after his wife's death. His son (Cohen Holloway) and friends try to help in various ways. Director and schoolteacher Hamish Bennett based his script on memories of growing up in rural Northland. The film expands upon his award-winning short film Ross and Beth (2014). The cast also includes Rachel House. Bellbird was invited to screen at the 2019 Sydney Film Festival.
Mum used to do the talking for both of us.– Bruce (Cohen Holloway)
Released in New Zealand cinemas on 7 November 2019
New Zealand premiere on 20 July 2019 at Auckland's Civic Theatre, as part of the 2019 NZ International Film Festival. Followed by further festival screenings around New Zealand
World premiere on 11 June 2019 at Sydney's State Theatre, as part of the Sydney Film Festival