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An uplifting story about breaking tradition, Whale Rider received critical acclaim upon its release in 2002, with Keisha Castle-Hughes becoming the youngest nominee for the Academy Award for Best Actress at just 13 years old.

In a Maori tribe in New Zealand, only males are allowed to ascend to chiefdom. This ancient custom is upset when the child selected to be the next chief dies at birth. However, his twin sister, Pai (Keisha Castle-Hughes), survives. At age 12, she enlists the help of her grandmother (Vicky Haughton) and the training of her uncle (Grant Roa) to claim her birthright. But to break with convention, she will have to do the impossible: win over her ultra-traditional grandfather.

Lisa Gerrard’s ambient soundtrack combined with the film’s backdrop of the beautiful New Zealand landscape creates a film that sweeps you up and transports you to another world. Whale Rider truly is a modern masterpiece.

This screening will be accompanied by the short film Here I Am.

Women in Widescreen

COMPOSER SPOTLIGHT: Lisa Gerrard

With a career that includes two decades with band Dead Can Dance, award-winning movie soundtracks and a series of acclaimed solo and collaborative albums, Lisa Gerrard has established herself as one of Australia’s most groundbreaking and in-demand artists.

In recent years Lisa has become a sought-after composer of film soundtracks and has scored or contributed to Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, Ali, King Arthur, The Mist and Layer Cake, to name a few. She has received multiple Golden Globe and Oscar nominations as well as four international awards for her work on Whale Rider.


Here I Am

Here I Am is a 10-minute documentary for Dance United Yorkshire about how dance has helped a group of vulnerable women in Bradford. The film explores the loss of opportunities to dance during the Covid-19 lockdown and how this has impacted the group. The film documents the women’s creative response to lockdown and explores how dance will continue to be a tool that empowers them as we emerge from the pandemic.

Here I Am will be accompanied by a short live dance performance by the women who appear in the film.

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