Sundance premiere for Taika Waititi homage to Hot Friday and Pork Pie

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Taika Waititi’s new film Hunt for the Wilderpeople – a dramatisation of Barry Crump’s 1986 novel Wild Pork & Watercress – is to premiere at the opening weekend of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival in the prestigious Friday night slot at the Eccles Theatre in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Curious partner Matt Noonan is a producer on the film, along with Carthew Neal, Leanne Saunders, and Waititi.

Curious commercials director Waititi won a 2015 Cannes Gold Lion, a D&AD Pencil and Best Ads’ Best Interactive for the NZTA Snapchat campaign, Tinnyvision. His critically acclaimed film, What We Do in the Shadows, won 13 international film awards and achieved cinema release across Australia and the US.

Curious is production partner on Hunt for the Wilderpeople, in charge of editorial, picture and sound production. Academy award winning Weta Digital are also involved in the post.

Julian Dennison, the lead in Waititi’s NZTA short film and multi-award winning ad, Blazed, produced by Curious, plays the lead in Hunt For The Wilderpeople, alongside Sam Neill.

“The book is really engaging and I recommend it to everyone. It’s so entertaining, quite beautifully written and profound, with an unmistakeably Kiwi style.”

“We’re trying to do something accessible to everyone: we want this to be a film that families can go to and there’s something for everyone,” he said.

He says Films like Came A Hot Friday and Goodbye Pork Pie were his inspiration when he began work on Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which tracks the relationship between an old-and-young couple of runaways, played by Sam Neill and rising star Julian Dennison (who most recently shone in family movie Paper Planes).

“I grew up with those films and to me that is the quintessential New Zealand style of film-making,” Waititi told, He has adopted what he calls a “very old style” as homage to Donaldson and Murphy.

For Waititi, the film marks a return to New Zealand’s classic style of filmmaking, in which humour has a pivotal role.

“We want this to be a film for all ages, that families can go to. A film where there’s something for everyone. We want to spin a good yarn and have an adventure …  start a resurgence of entertaining New Zealand films. Adventure films like Came a Hot Friday and Goodbye Pork Pie – films in which people are fighting against the system in a funny and touching way.”

Hunt For The Wilderpeople is due for release in early 2016.

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