John Weekes is an NZME News Service reporter based in Wellington.

Cameras get set to roll on more Maori movies

Keisha Castle-Hughes will feature in The Pa Boys. Photo / Getty Images
Keisha Castle-Hughes will feature in The Pa Boys. Photo / Getty Images

Good-time Maori movies are rolling out after successes with Boy and Mt Zion.

The Pa Boys, about a three-piece band's road trip around small-town pubs on the East Coast and Northland, is being developed with help from Te Paepae Ataata, a Maori film development organisation.

Spokeswoman Renee Mark said Keisha Castle-Hughes would have a role and former Trinity Roots lead singer Warren Maxwell was writing music for the film.

Ainsley Gardiner, who produced Boy and established Whenua films in 2004 with actor Cliff Curtis, would produce it. Writer, photographer and musician Himiona Grace was directing the film.

Film-makers have told fans on Facebook filming would start in May.

The story focused on friendship, family and whakapapa (genealogy) and would also feature "bromance" themes and new and established actors.

The Pa Boys is understood to have a budget of less than $2m and is one of two projects to win production financing at the NZ Film Commission board meeting last spring. The other was a Sir Edmund Hillary biopic, Beyond The Edge.

Te Paepae Ataata is also developing a film about the Maori Battalion called Soldier Boy and another movie called Whiria, with Rawiri Paratene.

Another project will be a feature film of eight component short films about the life of mythical hero Maui.

Mark said eight different iwi chose writers and directors to make the short films. Curtis, Lee Tamahori and Tammy Davis from Outrageous Fortune were involved.

Meanwhile, the NZ Film Commission said last week Mt Zion, starring Stan Walker and Temuera Morrison, had made more than $1 million since its release on February 6.

- Herald on Sunday

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