Taika Waititi's Critically Acclaimed 'Hunt for the Wilderpeople' Premieres at Sundance
Sundance has given double honours to Curious Film director, Taiki Waititi, this year. Waititi’s fourth film, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, premiered last Friday (Australian time) at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, in the Eccles Theatre. It was given the prestigious Friday night slot of the opening weekend and has been listed in the 30 Must See Films of Sundance 2016 by two top film blog sites, Film School Rejects and Slash Films.
On Saturday January 30, Waititi will also host the Sundance Feature Film Awards Ceremony, which will be live streamed at sundance.org.
Waititi, who won a 2015 Cannes Gold Lion, a D&AD Pencil and Best Ads’ Best Interactive for the NZTA Snapchat campaign, Tinnyvision, in 2015, will direct Thor 3 for Marvel Studios next.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople is Waititi’s dramatisation of Barry Crump’s 1986 novel, Wild Pork and Watercress, the story of a misfit kid who runs away with his grumpy uncle following the death of his aunt, in order to evade child services.
“Equal parts road comedy and coming-of-age drama, director Taika Waititi masterfully weaves lively humor with emotionally honest performances by Sam Neill and Julian Dennison. Never short on laughs, this touching story reminds us about the journey that growing up is (at any age) and those who help us along the way,” Sundance states in its introduction.
“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,” Waititi commented.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople stars Julian Dennison, the lead in Waititi’s Blazed produced by Curious, and Sam Neill. Curious executive producer and managing partner, Matt Noonan, co-produced the film and Curious Film post produced it. It is due for release in the next few months.
Waititi’s three previous films, Eagle Vs Shark, Boy and What We Do in the Shadows, have all been highly applauded at earlier Sundance festivals. What We Do in the Shadows won 13 international film awards plus another 8 nominations and achieved cinema release in both Australia and the US.