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The story of Jacob, a man whose life is stolen when he is inexplicably recast by a shadowy agency. When the actor who takes his place rekindles a long lost love, Jacob will do whatever it takes to fight for the role of his life.


Doug Dillaman


Doug Dillaman
5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Fitch ... Jacob
Leighton Cardno Leighton Cardno ... Jake
Tainui Tukiwaho Tainui Tukiwaho ... D
Anoushka Berkley ... Violet (as Anoushka Klaus)
Greg Johnson Greg Johnson ... Warren
Toby Sharpe Toby Sharpe ... Terry
Campbell Cooley ... Stefan
Martyn Wood Martyn Wood ... Thom
Narelle Ahrens ... Vanessa
Julie Collis ... Faye
Mick Innes ... Henry
Jodie Hillock ... Annie
Renee Lyons Renee Lyons ... Belinda
Deborah Eve Rea Deborah Eve Rea ... Tatiana (as Deborah Rea)
Sam Berkley Sam Berkley ... Oliver


The story of Jacob, a man whose life is stolen when he is inexplicably recast by a shadowy agency. When the actor who takes his place rekindles a long lost love, Jacob will do whatever it takes to fight for the role of his life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

surrealism | See All (1) »


Everyone plays a part. Who's going to play yours?


Comedy | Drama


Did You Know?


The first cut of the feature was 118 minutes, after which it was trimmed to 104 minutes for sending to festivals, followed by a further re-edit down to 88 minutes after a series of rejections. See more »


Referenced in Ghost Shark 2: Urban Jaws (2015) See more »

User Reviews

A dark-edged comedy whose edges become its centre
7 July 2013 | by jp-powellSee all my reviews

(Disclosure: I personally know the director, but was not in any way involved in the production of this film)

Aside from having the most excellent title* Doug Dillaman's long awaited first feature Jake is lively, thought-provoking cinema, and at the better end of the New Zealand movies I have seen. This dark-edged comedy —whose edge transitions eventually into its centre—details the story of a listless man in his 30s who suddenly finds himself 'replaced' and has to come to terms with his situation in the best way he can.

Well written and paced the film maintains a good momentum even as its narrative/tonal structure morphs beneath your feet. The production is visually engaging with a range interesting POVs and camera movement that works well and reflects the director's cinematic interests (Sorrentino anyone?) The cast almost uniformly displays decent chops with Jacob/VJ (Jason Fitch) in particular engendering more than the level of empathy demanded by the film's narrative. Comic relief character 'D'—genre trope staple 'the amusing/wise stoner' (e.g. Fran Kranz's Marty from The Cabin in the Woods —is both well penned and very well acted by Tainui Tukiwaho who evinces the perfect casually absurd tone which counterpoints what's happening around him. If there's one character that jarred a little for me it was that of the acting coach Stefan (Campbell Cooley). Stefan is played a little OTT which, although it services the comedic aspect of the film somewhat—e.g. Stefan directly addresses an acting fault which he is displaying—it is difficult to tell how intentional this is, and if so whether this distracts more than it adds.

The soundtrack on the film is pretty standout. A lot of local/indie artists (I think?) with some nice tunes and a bunch of excellent, slightly dissonant soundscapes ushering in or underscoring shots within scenes. Jake displays a polish and assurance quite impressive for a first feature and all on an insanely modest budget. Thumbs up to Doug and the Hybrid team! I hope many of you end up with a chance of seeing the film.

*Actually it is a bit weird having your name repeated SO many times in relatively quick succession but I guess that minor piece of induced paranoia is not something 99.9% of audiences will need worry about!

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New Zealand



Release Date:

29 June 2013 (New Zealand) See more »

Filming Locations:

Auckland, New Zealand See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hybrid Motion Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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