To mark the 40th anniversary of the New Zealand Film Commission, NZ On Screen brings us the stories behind some of our most notable local films.

Based on the Barry Crump book Wild Pork and Watercress, Taika Waititi's fourth feature is the tale of a city kid and a grumpy uncle on the run. Raised on hip hop and state care, Ricky (Julian Dennison) goes bush with his foster uncle (Sam Neill), with the authorities on his tail.

Keen to recapture the style of classic screen yarns like Came a Hot Friday, Waititi's aim was a funny, accessible adventure.

The result began winning acclaim when it debuted at North America's Sundance Film Festival. Two years on from its 2016 release, Hunt for the Wilderpeople remains the highest-ever grossing New Zealand film at the local box office.

Here actor Cohen Holloway dishes the dirt on his Wilderpeople co-stars Sam Neill and Stan Walker – and predicts stardom for Julian Dennison.


You can watch the trailer for Hunt for the Wilderpeople here: