2018 will kick off to a comedic start with Hibiscus and Ruthless – the newest Samoan movie from the phenomenal team at M2S1 Films who bought you the million-dollar grossing movie Three Wise Cousins.
Their latest production will have it’s world premiere in Auckland on Tuesday January 16th.
Director Stallone Ioasa says that unlike Three Wise Cousins which had a more laid back island feel, he describes Hibiscus and Ruthless as more fast paced.
“As a comedy, it definitely builds upon what Three Wise Cousins achieved and will surprise a lot of people,” he says. “The trailer only shows a very small part of what this film has to offer.”
Hibiscus and Ruthless, set in Auckland New Zealand tells the story of two childhood friends in their final year of University (studying for a Bachelor of Engineering).
Hibiscus who has grown up under very strict rules like “no boyfriends, no going out” and “only work and university,” now finds herself getting the attention of a few guys.
Hibiscus then calls upon bestie Ruth to help her stay on the straight and narrow, but it’s easier said then done.
Stallone’s sister and producer of the film Dinah Vaiaoga-Ioasa says that the SUGA (Samoan young women) – related themes in the film had to be showcased.
“I think it’s important our ‘SUGA’ perspectives are shared and it’s a unique thing to have this shared through the form of a feature film,” says Dinah.
“Hibiscus and Ruthless also allows the opportunity to have SUGA’s on the big screen which we don’t see much of presently.”
The team are excited and proud of the final product. Especially that there will be new talent gracing the big screen.
The producers scouted talent agencies in New Zealand and went through a casting process to find the best actors possible.
“Some of the supporting actors for some key roles such as Mum (Lafitaga Mafaufau) and Grandma (Yvonne Maea-Brown) are taking on acting for the first time,” says Stallone. “And we shoulder tapped knowing they would be awesome in the role so we were very lucky that they said yes.”
The movie was shot over three weeks.