Kiwi is well known in the Triangle as a member of Stampede of Love.
The Raleigh-based nonprofit promotes the benefits of pet therapy with visits to schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and special and community events. Miniature horses are always a crowd favorite at the Raleigh Christmas Parade every year.
Kiwi takes center stage in the North Carolina-based film. Jacques Belliveau wrote, directed, produced and starred in “Reggie”. The movie is about a guy named Mitch who can’t connect with other people and suffers from depression and anxiety. Mitch finds help with a miniature therapy horse named Reggie, played by Kiwi.
“I didn’t know at the time that I was depressed, anxious and all that,” said Belliveau. “I was the guy who was like – if I can’t handle it on my own – it doesn’t need to be fixed and kept inside because therapy is for weak people. , no medication for me. I wouldn’t. take ibuprofen. And while I was writing this movie, it was kind of letting it all out and it helped me get into therapy. a thing.”
Since entering therapy, Belliveau has been diagnosed with severe adult ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity and impulsive disorder and started taking medications which he says have helped him tremendously.
After writing “Reggie” overnight, Belliveau immediately sent the script to friends and contacts in the film industry and immediately received offers from studios to purchase the script.
Even though the offers to purchase the script exceeded his own budget of $ 275,000 to shoot the film, Belliveau decided to bet on himself and founded a studio and production company in Salisbury to produce the film with him.
A casting call went out and Kiwi stole the show by landing the role of Reggie.
“It’s a full-size miniature horse with a form of dwarfism,” said Belliveau. “So he’s smaller than the other miniature horses. So it’s like the underdog entered. He turned out to be the same color as my beard. Plus, he’s very fiery and I likes fiery because I’m a troublemaker myself. And that was, that’s how it went. “
“Reggie” was supposed to premiere in 2020, but the pandemic put it on hold. After staging a world premiere at Salisbury in 2021, Belliveau already says he’s already satisfied with his work and the message after meeting members of the public after the premiere.
“Adult men came to me crying afterwards,” said Belliveau. “Ask me for therapy recommendations and just talk to me. Being seen for the first time. So I accomplished whatever I want. If I make money, it’s great. Otherwise, whatever.”
Belliveau is launching a nationwide tour with dates in New York, Charlotte, Boston, Atlanta, and Seattle, among other cities. The tour begins in Raleigh at the Rialto Theater on Monday with a Q&A with Belliveau after the film and a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Stampede of Love.
Kiwi will be at the Raleigh premiere in a tuxedo.
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