Alistair MacDonald


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SAVIOUR is a psychological thriller about an idealistic missionary who embarks on an ambitious journey that will lead to a tragic discovery.

Set amongst the deep forest of 1820s New Zealand, we follow Thornley, a determined young missionary recently arrived into the country. He is led by Reed, a rough, washed-up sailor who views his plight with disdain. They journey to meet a distant Māori leader. One night in camp they are disturbed by the arrival of a young Māori man. The impact of this arrival and the assumptions made by the two travellers will have devastating consequences for all involved.

SAVIOUR will be an emotionally and visually gripping experience that explores ideas of cultural superiority and misunderstanding.

The Team

SAVIOUR is written and directed by Alistair MacDonald, and produced by Jarl Devine and Todd Karehana. There is a fantastic lineup of actors and crew currently involved. Kieran Charnock (STRAY, THE REHEARSAL) is set to play the missionary Thornley, and Mark Mitchinson (HUMAN TRACES, FILTHY RICH) will play the trader Reed. Cinematographer Ian McCarroll (THE BROTHER, BEYOND THE KNOWN WORLD) will shoot the film, and Berlin-based NZ musician Indi is set to compose the score.

Why We Need Your Help

To tell the story of SAVIOUR accurately and honestly, we are filming in the Kaimai Ranges, one of the best preserved forests in the upper North Island. No other landscape in the Auckland area offers such an awe inspiring window into what New Zealand looked like 200 years ago. As this project needs an experienced crew used to working in adverse, off the track conditions, we need to send 15 people and two van loads of equipment from Auckland south to the Kaimai Ranges. This means we need to pay for petrol, food, accommodation and logistical support.

We're hoping to raise the majority of our production budget through this 30-day Boosted campaign, so your donation will make this film possible. We'll keep you updated on our progress as we begin production, all the way through our shoot, and into the post-production stage. All donors will receive a thank you in the credits and a lot of gratitude from us!

Please note that all New Zealand based donors qualify for a 33% tax credit on their donations from the IRD. Receipts will be provided by The Arts Foundation at the close of the campaign.


  • Location Scouting


    Some early location scouting stills for Saviour from the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park - one of the areas we're hoping to shoot in.

    Location Scouting
  • Co-Producer Jarl Devine


    Hailing from the Deep South, Jarl has forged a career in screen production in both Auckland and overseas. Since graduating from the New Zealand Broadcasting School in 2005, Jarl has focused almost exclusively on production management for film and fast turnaround television for both local and international productions. Supplementing his experience in the local industry, during his two years in the UK, Jarl was fortunate to work in entertainment and sports production with Endemol, Live Nation and the BBC. Currently, Jarl is the Production Manager for Westside Season 5, produced by South Pacific Pictures and is a member of the Screen Industry Guild of New Zealand.

    Co-Producer Jarl Devine
  • Score Composer indi


    The score for Saviour will be composed by Berlin-based artist indi. indi is the moniker of artist Indira Force, who originally grew up in Titirangi, in the rainforests of West Auckland. In early 2018, she signed with Japanese label ​2670 Records and the iconic ​Flying Nun Records through which her debut album ‘​Precipice​’ was released. She is a composer for both screen and performance, as well as in the field of sonic arts. Her recent projects of 2018 includes her collaboration with choreographer Natalie Clark for the performance ‘Transit’, by the prestigious T.H.E. (​The Human Expression​) contemporary dance company in Singapore. Indira also worked with an award-winning team last year as original score composer for the short film ‘Daniel’. She is known for her work in alternative psych band Doprah and her collaboration project New Dawn with cinematic violinist Anita Clark (a.k.a. Motte).:

    Score Composer indi
  • Co-Producer Todd Karehana


    Saviour is produced by Jarl Devine and Todd Karehana. Todd Karehana is a Māori writer, director, and producer based in Auckland, New Zealand. With an interest in creating new images of minorities, Karehana graduated from The University of Auckland in 2017 with first class masters in drama directing. During his time at university, Karehana wrote and directed a number of short films, such as The Kweenz of Kelston, The Spectacular Imagination of the Pōhara Brothers, and My Brother Mitchell, all of which have screened at international film festivals and won various awards. More recently, Karehana is a script editor for Māori Television's premium drama series Ahikāroa, and is writing for the new children's animated series The Exceptional Squad.

    Co-Producer Todd Karehana
  • Writer and Director Alistair MacDonald


    Saviour is written and directed by Alistair MacDonald. Alistair lives in Auckland, New Zealand where he has worked for several years in the NZ production industry as a director’s assistant. He wrote and directed the short film Coast as part of the 2017 Someday Stories initiative, and hopes to continue writing and directing films that explore his preoccupations and fascinations.

    Writer and Director Alistair MacDonald
  • Casting: Kieran Charnock as Thornley


    Thornley will be played by rising star of New Zealand cinema Kieran Charnock (Stray, The Rehearsal). Thornley is an idealistic young missionary recently arrived into 1820s New Zealand. He is not at ease in this foreign land, but strong convictions force him onwards in his endeavour.

    Casting: Kieran Charnock as Thornley
  • Location Scouting


    Check out this early location scouting still for SAVIOUR. This is in the Kaimai Ranges where we hope to shoot most of our film.

    Location Scouting
  • Casting: Mark Mitchinson as Reed


    Reed will be played by the fantastic UK-born New Zealand actor Mark Mitchinson (Human Traces, Filthy Rich). Reed is a washed up sailor running a remote trading post. Having lived in the area for some time he knows the land well. When a young missionary arrives asking for guidance Reed cannot turn down the payment he offers, yet he views the young man's intentions with scepticism.

    Casting: Mark Mitchinson as Reed