Winning ways continue for Whale Rider

International plaudits continue to come for Niki Caro’s 2002 hit, Whale Rider. Whale Rider beat Hollywood blockbusters 28 Days Later and The Wild Thornberry‘s to win the feature film category at the 2003 Environmental Media Awards in LA, was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Australian Film Institute Awards (first place went to Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers), won the adult vote in the Bafta children’s awards, and was tipped by Variety magazine as a “scrappy contender”  in the lead up to the 2003 Oscar nominations. The story of an East Coast Maori community also provided the focal point of a National Geographic feature on ‘The Fight For Indigenous Films.’ Frustrated by the rarity of such indigenous stories as Whale Rider and (Inuit) Atanarjuat  reaching the silver screen, National Geographic recently launched the All Roads Film Project, “to reflect the rainbow of faces that make up our cultural universe, and inject a broader range of experiences into mainstream culture.” The film’s soundtrack – by ex-Dead Can Dance lead, Lisa Gerrard – was praised in the September issue of Mojo magazine: “Gerrard couples her muezzin-like glossolalia with the rich Polynesian traditions of vocal music to paint an evocative picture of a culture in uneasy liaison with the 21st century.”

Tags: Australian Film Institute Awards  Niki Caro  Peter Jackson  Rocky Mountain News  The Two Towers  Whale Rider