Feb 12 · 5 min read
Hang Time still

Hang time is a new world wine term for the length of a vine’s growing season; the longer the grapes hang on the vine before harvest, the greater depth of flavour in the final wine. This also applies to our three heroes, who each need a little more time on the vine.

Hang Time writer/director/producer Casey Zilbert and producer Steve Barr

Steve & Casey

Casey Zilbert inspires me. One of those filmmaking and feminist Women Who Do It. Who does it with speed and style and skill, with warmth and humour and joy and consummate kindness. Who consistently supports other #womeninfilm (*&* some blokes!) in very beautiful ways.

Her first feature, Hang Time, is a wine-fuelled comedy for the new ‘lost generation’– millennials. It’s about millenials having a quarter-life crisis, premieres in Marlborough this weekend and then tours the country (schedule below).

Inspired by classic Ernest Hemingway novel Fiesta (aka The Sun Also Rises) about drunken expats in Europe — at university, Casey’s studies included Fiesta and wine science — Hang Time was shot at a Marlborough winery in just 11 days (!).

DOP Brandon Te Moananui and Dylan Patel 1st AC

More about Hang Time —

Three 20-something friends get some much-needed hang time when a cancelled wedding sees them spend a long weekend together on a beautiful vineyard… with all the wine intended for the wedding and the runaway bride’s crazy uncle (Steve Barr) … and a beautiful young woman (Katrina George) bringing a little sexual healing to the jilted groom.

Nick Davies as Ants, Hayden J Weal as Harry, Katrina Georga as Bella

But it’s not all fun, sun and drinking games. There are bigger issues bubbling beneath the banter — workaholic Harry (Hayden J Weal from Chronesthesia) is ignoring a badly broken heart, self-styled fitness guru Ants (Nick Davies, Filthy Rich, Brokenwood Mysteries) hiding some big baby news, and reformed party girl Jess (Gemma Knight from What Now?) can’t decide if she should accept a life changing job opportunity.

Balancing ‘booze and bros’ humour with candid character drama, Hang Time ‘is as real as it is ridiculous, proving once and for all that nothing heals a broken heart like good wine, good friends, and a damn good time’.

Katrina George as Bella

I felt a bit daunted when the first Hang Time woman I read about was Bella, the ‘beautiful young woman bringing a little sexual healing’ to Harry.

But then I read on. And learned that there’s another, central, woman character called Jess, and her story ‘isn’t about falling for a boy, it is about falling for yourself’. And that reminded me of the Casey I know and love. And that reassured me.

Gemma Knight as Jess

And then I watched this. Take a look. I think you’ll be glad you did.

More about Casey?

She co-wrote Born to Dance with Hone Kouka and Steve Barr (2015, directed by Tammy Davis); it screened at Toronto and the Berlinale. She’s also written and directed short films; and has a million other projects-in-progress, many of them cross-border. Her imdb page is here. WIFTNZ gave her its Woman to Watch Award in 2018.

And Casey and her co-producer Steve Barr have such a witty style: it’s seeped through to the merch for Hang Time. This BROSÉ! This SCREW CAP (I’ve ordered two)! This vinyl!

Tour Schedule

Blenheim (World Premiere)

Saturday, February 16, 2019–7pm ASB Theatre Marlborough

Book Tickets Here


Monday, February 18 6pm Hollywood Cinemas

Book Tickets Here


Thursday, February 21 6.30pm The Embassy

Book Tickets Here


Saturday, February 23 MTG Theatre 7pm

Book Tickets Here


Tuesday, February 26 8pm

Starlight Cinema

Book Tickets Here


Thursday, February 28 8pm

Lido Cinema

Book Tickets Here


Saturday, March 02 8pm

The Hollywood Avondale

Book Tickets Here

Nick Davies as Ants, Hayden J Weal as Harry, Gemma Knight as Jess



Totally charming Hang Time webseries, right here.

Social Media


Instagram Casey Hang Time Ernest Steve


Casey at work

There is always going to be a place for female filmmakers to go out and tell women’s stories. But I think there’s also a really important place for women to present a version of men–how we see them. — Casey Zilbert


More info

Graeme Tuckett review for Stuff: ‘A confident, competent and easy-to-like Kiwi movie’

Radio New Zealand: Standing Room Only with Lynn Freeman (Casey)

Radio New Zealand: Lately with Karen Hay (34 minutes in, Steve and Casey)

Flicks (with some other great local films written or written and directed by women and about to be released); & here, about how Hang Time was made (pretty special!).

The Hits (Marlborough)

nzonscreen entry for Hang Time

More being added here.

And as the tour goes on, audiences are delighted and inspired. These from Louise of Online Heroines

Women’s Film Activism

Women making change, around the world


Written by


Marian Evans. Stories by & about women artists, writers and filmmakers. Global outlook, from Aotearoa New Zealand.

Women’s Film Activism

Women making change, around the world

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