Whale Rider: Special 15th Anniversary Screening
Note: this film is not an official Festival selection, but screened as a special event.
In a small village of coastal New Zealand, the male heir to the Maori Chief succeeds the title of the Whale Rider. But while Pai, at 12 years old, is the only available heir, the Chief refuses to acknowledge her as the rightful successor to the title because she is a girl. Instead, he looks to other boys in the village to train in their ancient traditions, in hopes that their future leader will be revealed to him. Pai must summon both grit and grace in order to claim her destiny. Winner of various awards from around the world (as well as a Best Actress Oscar nomination for young star Keisha Castle-Hughes), Whale Rider is a visually stunning film about family, tradition, and both embracing and challenging expectations.