Fast Facts

100+ New Zealand crew

33 New Zealand cast

21 shoot days in Makarora and Cardrona

8 shoot days in Auckland

Nude Tuesday stars Jackie van Beek (What We Do In The Shadows, The Breaker Upperers), Damon Herriman (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Judy & Punch, The Nightingale) and Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords, What We Do in The Shadows), and is directed by Armagan Ballantyne (The Strength of Water).

Produced by Emma Slade of Firefly Films (Come to Daddy, The Justice of Bunny King), Virginia Whitehall and Nick Batzias of GoodThing Productions (Nitram, 2040), Nude Tuesday was made with financing by the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC), Screen Australia and Film Victoria with assistance from the New Zealand Screen Production Grant. It also received funding through the Screen Production Recovery Fund.

Based on a screenplay by van Beek from a story devised by herself and Ballantyne, the film is spoken entirely in an improvised, gibberish-esque language with subtitles created by British comedian and writer Julia Davis (Camping).

“It's marvellous to think that all those conversations that Jackie and I had over cups of tea, about creating a film shot entirely in gibberish actually ended up as a feature length movie that will screen at cinemas around the country,” said Ballantyne.

“It was a very special shoot with an incredibly dedicated cast and crew that wholeheartedly threw themselves into making something that has never been done before.”

Filmed in picturesque Makarora in the South Island, as well as Auckland, the cast is rounded out by a group of familiar faces including Chris Parker, Jesse Griffin, Karen O’Leary, Jodie Rimmer, Yvette Parsons, Chelsie Preston Crayford and Morgana O’Reilly.

The production shot at Wonderland Lodge in Makarora, on the Haast Highway at the head of Lake Wanaka. This quirky and secluded collection of A-frame cabins offered the perfect location and a real "school camp" vibe in which to explore the story. Director Armagan Ballantyne said “It wasn’t just the ideal nature of the cabins and the setting – there was a mossy forest nearby, and a river, and an icy lake a 30 minute chopper ride away. We incorporated these elements into the script. It was also the people of Makarora, because when you cast a location, you're taking the circus there and you need to make sure the locals want the circus to come. We gauged how they felt about the idea of being invaded by a bunch of creatives, and they were very open and excited. Everywhere had been in lockdown, the whole place had been shut off, so the idea of rejuvenating it by filling the camp with life was really enticing for them.”

Damon Herriman adds “There was that real camaraderie you only get from living that close to each other. We would get up and walk two minutes to start filming, then at the end of the day, have a meal together a few steps away. Plus, not just the cast but the crew were incredible. I hadn't worked with New Zealand crews before and everybody was brilliant, so professional. So, it was this great experience, surrounded by these beautiful mountains covered in snow, with virtually no internet and no phone reception. I think the experience won't be something that any of us will forget.”

Nude Tuesday provided jobs and support to more than 140 cast and crew, and over 50 extras. It is a great example of the benefits the screen sector brings to local economies. More than half a million dollars was spent in the Queenstown, Wanaka and Makarora regions during the shoot, with over $40,000 spent on flights, $170,000 on accommodation, and over $90,000 in catering.

The crew enjoyed their days off exploring the region, scenic helicopter flights, staying in hotels, they hired even more vehicles, and generally enjoyed southern hospitality. That is all above the beyond the production spend. 

The New Zealand Screen Production Grant

Nude Tuesday utilised the New Zealand Screen production Grant. The New Zealand Screen Production Grant (NZSPG) for New Zealand Productions is part of the Government’s screen incentives scheme. Eligible productions can access a cash rebate equivalent to 40% of Qualifying New Zealand Production Expenditure (QNZPE). 

This grant is capped at NZ$6 million per production unless the production qualifies for an Additional Grant, which is available to productions that can meet additional criteria and have QNZPE from NZ$15 million to NZ$50 million.

The purpose of the New Zealand Grant is twofold:

  • To build the sustainability, scale and critical mass of the domestic film industry and support the development of New Zealand creatives.
  • To provide cultural benefits to New Zealand by supporting the creation of New Zealand content and stories.

The New Zealand Film Commission administers the NZSPG for New Zealand Productions on behalf of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

A NZSPG for International Productions is also available and includes a Post, Digital and Visual Effects Grant. Click here for more information.


In an effort to rekindle the spark in their troubled marriage, 40-somethings Laura (Jackie Van Beek) and Bruno (Damon Herriman) head to a three-day couples’ retreat run by relationship and sexual healing guru Bjorg Rasmussen (Jemaine Clement). Upon arrival, the path to their reconnection is met with hilarious and increasingly absurd farce.

Spoken entirely in an improvised, gibberish-esque language with subtitles created by contributing writers globally after release, Nude Tuesday is an utterly singular excursion into miscommunication, full frontal nudity and self-discovery.

Nude Tuesday is in cinemas June 16 2022.