MĀUI’S HOOK World Premiere at NZIFF

Press Release – Kiriata Films

MĀUI’S HOOK World Premiere at NZ International Film Festival

Auckland July 21, then nationwide (bookings open June 29)

The new feature film Māui’s Hook will have its World Premiere in the NZ International Film Festival 2018 on July 21 before screenings in 10 other Festival venues around the country.

Festival director Bill Gosden says: “Invoking the skills, cunning and defiance of the legendary tupuna, the title of this stirring film by psychologist and filmmaker Paora Joseph also alludes to the line on a map traced by the bus trip he takes us on from Parihaka to Te Rerenga Wairua (Cape Reinga).”

Māui’s Hook is the third film by Paora Joseph to premiere in the NZIFF, following Tātarakihi: Children of Parihaka (2012), about children discovering the history of their people, and Te Awa Tupua (2014), which explored the unique role of the Whanganui River.

In this film, Joseph uses his experience and skill as a psychologist to create a film purpose-built to change attitudes and provoke action around youth suicide, the topic of his Auckland University thesis back in the 1990s. He has worked with at-risk youth in South Auckland as well as in Taranaki and he appears in the film, conducting healing sessions with grieving families in the documentary backbone of the film, and acting as a mentor to the distressed young man Tama in the drama threads.

Māui’s Hook defies easy categorisation into the usual film genres. It is an artistic merge of content and styles which creatively blends the fictional story of Tama, a young man undergoing a struggle with life, with the true stories of five families taking part in a unique hikoi wairua (spiritual journey) while grieving the suicide of a family member.

Starring Niwa Whatuira (Dark Horse, The Rehearsal) and newcomer Hera Foley, the film is executive produced by Quinton Hita and produced by Karen Te O Kahurangi Waaka-Tibble for Kura Productions Ltd, funded by a range of community investment by Te Rau Matatini’s Waka Hourua Community Fund – Maori Community Suicide Prevention Strategy, Te Puni Kōkiri, a TSB Community Grant, Te Hurihanga Trust, and funds from NZ On Air, Māori Television and the NZ Film Commission.

Details of screening dates and venues will be in the NZIFF programme, to be launched on June 25. Tickets go on sale on June 29.


Māui’s Hook – synopsis

Hostage to his own pain, Tama, a disturbed young man, travels the destructive road of no return as five grieving families, broken by suicide, struggle with the painful loss of a loved one.

On the anniversary of his father’s suicide, Tama (Niwa Whatuira), a young man fuelled by drugs, alcohol and violence, spirals into anger and despair.

As Tama travels the destructive road of no return, he becomes intertwined with five courageous families, each broken by the suicide of a loved one, each in search of healing and forgiveness.

Hostage to his own pain, he finds himself travelling with the families – a road trip that forces him to witness first-hand the aftermath of suicide. And to face his own mortality.

When he encounters Hine-nui-te-pō, a mysterious young woman (Hera Foley), Tama must accept the harsh reality that death is final. There’s no coming back.

What does this mean, not just for Tama, but for all those left behind?

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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