The Breaker Upperers

Directed by Jackie van Beek, Madeleine Sami
New Zealand
82 minutes
In this side-splittingly funny film, NZ directors Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami star as best friends who run an unconventional business breaking up couples for cash.

Directors Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami star as Jen and Mel, who 15 years ago discovered that they were being two-timed by the same man. From heartbreak, a friendship blossomed, alongside a hearty cynicism about love and relationships. And so The Breaker Upperers was born, a business helping people who lack the courage to end their relationships. With years of experience, Jen and Mel bring new levels of artistry to their craft. Faking deaths, impersonating cops and strippers, and feigning pregnancies are all part of their extensive repertoire. But when consciences resurface and the prospect of romance rears up, the unbreakable friendship between the two starts to show its first cracks. Though it plays like an escapist comedy, The Breaker Upperers (executive produced by Taika Waititi, What We Do in the Shadows, SFF 2014) is also refreshingly candid about modern sexuality, and beautifully captures a multicultural community. It is a joyous, hilarious film and its creators, on this evidence, are destined for international stardom.

Look out couples — and Hollywood — because New Zealand comedians Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami are ready for stardom. – Amy Nicholson, Variety

JACKIE VAN BEEK has made seven award-winning short films and her first feature, The Inland Road, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2017. As an actor, she is best known for her role in Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s critically acclaimed vampire movie, What We Do in the Shadows (SFF 2014).

MADELEINE SAMI has created, co-written and starred in two seasons of critically acclaimed New Zealand comedy Super City, and directed the second season of hit sketch comedy show Funny Girls. As an actor, Madeleine has starred in Sione’s Wedding and Sione’s Wedding Two, Eagle vs Shark, What We Do in the Shadows, and Top of the Lake.

Festival guests: Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami

The Breaker Upperers also screens as our Opening Night Gala film on Wednesday 7 June at the State Theatre. 

Talk: After the Saturday 9 June screening of The Breaker Upperers, is an In Conversation with Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami in the Festival Hub, starting at 4pm

Flexipasses are not valid for Back by Popular Demand sessions Monday 18 June to Wednesday 20 June.

Travelling Film Festival Newcastle, June 22 - 24: Tickets also available for The Breaker Upperers at TFF Newcastle.

Buy Tickets

The Breaker Upperers

The Ritz Cinema Randwick
Fri 8 June
Past Event Cancel

The Breaker Upperers

State Theatre
Sat 9 June
Past Event Cancel

The Breaker Upperers

Casula Powerhouse
Sun 10 June
Past Event Cancel

The Breaker Upperers

Dendy Newtown
Tue 19 June
Past Event Cancel
New Zealand
In English
Jackie van Beek, Madeleine Sami
Ainsley Gardiner, Georgina Conder, Carthew Neal
Jackie van Beek, Madeleine Sami, James Rolleston
Jackie van Beek, Madeleine Sami
Ginny Loane
Company Credits
Distributor: Madman Entertainment
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