A trailer for new film Muru exploring the 2007 Tūhoe raids has been unveiled as the film is set to open Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival on July 28.
Muru - a Māori concept meaning forgiveness and reconciliation - comes from award-winning director and writer Tearepa Kahi, starring Cliff Curtis and Tame Iti.
Manu Bennett, Simone Kessell, Ria Te Uira Paki, Roimata Fox and Poroaki Merrit-McDonald join the cast, with Iti playing himself in the film.
Kahi says the film has been a long time in the making.
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"Working alongside Cliff and our incredible cast, in Tame's backyard, in Tame's native tongue, was a shared dream we've been working on for a long time. I'm hopeful that national recognition of Matariki, a month-long commitment to reo Māori through Mahuru Māori, means we're ready as Aotearoa to open ourselves to a film like Muru."
Curtis says it was a privilege to work on the "profound, heartfelt, and meaningful film".
"This film is a work of love, conflict and forgiveness. See it. Discuss it. Share it."
New Zealand International Film Festival general manager Sally Woodfield says opening the festival with the world premiere of Muru marks a very proud moment.
"It's incredibly special for the festival to celebrate its return to Auckland's The Civic by presenting this powerful retelling of such a significant episode of Aotearoa's history and we can't wait to bring the film to festival audiences around the country," she says.
It's the first feature film to be funded through the New Zealand Film Commission's He Pounamu Te Reo Māori Feature Film Fund - Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga.
Muru will open the New Zealand International Film Festival in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, with a special screening in Whakatāne before it's released nationwide on September 1.