Whale Rider is a 2002 New Zealand-German family drama film directed by Niki Caro, based on the novel of the same name by Witi Ihimaera. The film stars Keisha Castle-Hughes as Kahu Paikea Apirana, a twelve-year-old M?ori girl whose ambition is to become the chief of the tribe. Her grandfather Koro Apirana believes that this is a role reserved for males only. The film was a coproduction between New Zealand and Germany. It was shot on location in Whangara, the setting of the novel. The world premiere was on 9 September 2002, at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film received critical acclaim upon its release. At age 13, Keisha Castle-Hughes became the youngest nominee for the Academy Award for Best Actress before she was surpassed by Quvenzhané Wallis, at age 9, for Beasts of the Southern Wild less than a decade later. The film earned $41.4 million on a NZ$9,235,000 budget. In 2005 the film was named to the BFI list of the 50 films you should see by the age of 14.
Production: Palm Pictures
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 33 wins & 34 nominations.
One young girl dared to confront the past, change the present and determine the future.
In the ways of the Ancients, she found a hope for the future.
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