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VIDEO: Maori Boy Genius featured for NZ film festival

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Item: 8029

Alex Bourne

AUCKLAND (TV3 News / Pacific Media Watch): A New Zealand documentary about a Hawkes Bay boy who went to Yale University at the age of 15 is being shown at the New Zealand Film Festival.

The rising star of Maori Boy Genius may one be running the country.

When his friends were sitting their NCEA standards in high school, Ngaa Rauuira was studying politics and law at the American Ivy League Yale University.

And if that was not enough for the young man, his entire time there was captured on film - for the documentary Maori Boy Genius.

“People invested time and money, a lot of things, into me, into this - to flunk? There’s no choice. The only way was forward,” laughs Ngaa Rauuira.

Documentary-maker Pietra Brettkelly was impressed with how the Otaki teen dealt with being filmed 24-7.

“There’s always a stage during filming where you know your subject is getting sick of you. You turn up to film and they are thinking, ‘ahh, the’re here again’. But with Ngaa and his family that never happened, they were incredibly supportive,” says Brett-Kelly.

Maori Boy Genius portrays Rauuiri’s journey through a six-week summer programme at Yale. And the documentary and was accepted for the Berlin Film Festival in February, the same festival that introduced Taika Waititi's Boy to the international stage.

“It’s a wonderful compliment, it’s really humbling for me and all the team who worked on it, and for Ngaa and his whanau, that people beyond our shores care about this story,” says Brettkelly.

New Zealand International Film Festival 2012:
Auckland - Tuesday, 24 July, 6.30pm at Sky City Theatre
Auckland - Thursday, 26 July, 10.30am at Sky City Theatre

Wellington - Sunday, 12 August, 3pm at Te Papa's Sounding's Theatre


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Pacific Media Watch

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Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators.
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Maori Boy Genius

You may also wish to mention MAORI BOY GENIUS is on in Wellington, at Te Papa's Sounding's Theatre, Sunday 12 August, 3pm

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