Entertainment | Movie

Watch: ‘When you’re Māori, your mountain is your ancestor’

Three Kiwi kids, a majestic maunga and an epic quest - the full-length trailer of new movie The Mountain released today promises laughter, tears and a shedload of New Zealand scenery along with the action.

The Mountain, set in Taranaki, is the directorial debut of New Zealand actor Rachel House (Ngāti Mutunga, Te Ātiawa, Kāi Tahu).

The Mountain tells the story of three Kiwi kids on a mission: Sam, a young girl raised outside of her Māori culture, wants to connect with her maunga (mountain) in the hope that it will help her beat cancer. She’s joined by misfit Mallory and tough kid Bronco, “a guardian of Papatūānuku, our OG mother”.

The film is the first time on screen for the young actors - Elizabeth Atkinson (Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Tama, Kāi Tahu) as Sam, Reuben Francis as Mallory, and Terence Daniel (Ngāti Kahungunu, Raukawa ki Wharepūhunga, Kuki Airani - Aitutaki) as Bronco.

House, who has amassed a lengthy list of acting credits across theatre, film and TV, including most memorably as social worker Paula in Taika Waiti’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople, wrote the screenplay for The Mountain with Tom Furniss.

“I reckon friendship can see you through just about anything and that’s what our perfectly flawed trio of misfits discover,” House says.

The Mountain is on general release in New Zealand cinemas from March 28.