Hancock native’s directorial debut now streaming on Netflix

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    Headshot of Christine Luby, Director of "This Little Love of Mine." —Kathy Luu

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    Cast of "This Little Love of Mine" with Luby. Left to right, Saskia Hampele, Lynn Gilmartin and Liam McIntyre. —David Fell

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    Saskia Hampele and Liam McIntyre in a scene from the new Netflix movie "This Little Love of Mine," directed by Hancock native Christine Luby. Courtesy photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 7/14/2021 4:26:33 PM

Christine Luby found her fast passion growing up in Hancock, doing modern dance with the Northern Lights dance company in Antrim. Quickly after, she discovered her true passion – film.

“Growing up in Hancock was a really magical experience that influenced my world view,” Luby said, even though New Hampshire doesn’t have a large film scene.

Now, Luby lives in Australia, and her directorial debut just came out on Netflix.

“This Little Love of Mine” is a romantic comedy revolving around Laura Price (Saskia Hampele), a successful San Francisco lawyer who is sent back to the tropical island where she grew up when her firm’s biggest client asks her to deliver a contract to make her childhood best friend, Chip (Liam McIntyre) his heir. Laura leaves behind her practice and fiancé to convince Chip to sign the contract that will make him a billionaire, and as they grow closer, she questions if she’s with the right man.

“This Little Love of Mine” was the first Australian film to commence production during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Directing a movie in the middle of a global pandemic in a remote area of Northern Queensland, Australia, is no small task,” Luby said, “especially since it was my first time.”

Despite this, Luby said that the process was fun and exciting. “I was excited to work in the romantic comedy genre and bring the story to life in one of the most beautiful places in the world, so that kept me going,” she said.

And COVID-19 protocols, while restrictive, weren’t as bad as American restrictions, said Luby. Because Australia was less impacted by COVID-19 at the time, the work could still move forward, even if the cast and crew were stuck in a COVID-free bubble.

This was made easier, Luby said, because more than half of the film was shot at a resort that allowed the cast and crew to stay there.

“We were largely able to operate as normal,” Luby said.

The film is Luby’s first as director, but far from her first in the industry. She’s worked in film for 14 years, and said that it gave her a good sense of what directing would be like, especially due to her experience assistant directing on films like “The Wolverine” and “Aquaman.”

“Being an assistant director is a logistical role and not a creative one,” Luby said. “But I actually think this is a strength of mine because I have an excellent understanding of how a film set works, what everyone does and my role within that.”

“I think it would have been terrifying if I had never been on a film set before, but luckily I had a good deal of experience under my belt,” she added.

Luby said that after years of living in big cities, starting with London when she was 20, she finds herself craving small-town life and the resulting sense of community.

“Sometimes you just want to go to Harlow’s and hang out with people who have known you since you were 10,” she said. “No city can replicate that feeling.”

She tries to visit New Hampshire, where her family still lives, at least every year – a routine the pandemic has thrown off.

“I’m actually not allowed to leave Australia without an exemption, which they won’t grant for family visits, so I’m a bit stuck right now,” Luby said. “I’m really looking forward to coming back as soon as possible.”

The visits, which Luby uses to revisit old haunts and “really dear friends,” leave her feeling refreshed for her work.

“That makes me feel incredibly grounded and able to go back out and conquer the world,” she said.

Looking to the future, Luby said that she is beginning work this week on her second romantic comedy feature, and a show called “Dive Club” for which she directed three episodes will be out on Netflix later this year.

“I’m really excited to keep creating, telling amazing stories and working with great people,” she said. “I really thrive on creative collaboration and I find that it really energizes me. In the future, I’d absolutely love to do a dance film, or anything set in the 1920s or 1960s. Also I’m very keen to start working in the states and of course, anything close to New Hampshire.”

“This Little Love of Mine” is streaming now on Netflix.

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