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1 item from 2014

Toronto: Director Toa Fraser on Diving Into Cultural Myths With ‘The Dead Lands’

6 September 2014 5:42 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Toa Fraser’s brutal actioner “The Dead Lands” got an unexpected Twitter boost Thursday night when a fire alarm emptied the near-capacity 1,200-seat Ryerson Theatre just minutes before the film world premiere in Toronto.

Cast and audience mingled outside — posting selfies snapped in front of the flashing fire engine and captioned with “hot film” comments — for several minutes before getting the all-clear.

Back inside, the coming-of-age story of tribal rivalry, warrior honor and the spiritual bond to one’s ancestors, which unfolds in pre-colonial New Zealand, clearly captivated Thursday’s audience — the first ever to witness mau rakau, the traditional Maori martial art of armed combat, on the bigscreen.

“The crazy thing is, it’s been there for the taking all along but hadn’t been done,” Fraser said. “My feeling is this is the beginning of a New Zealand genre.”

Auckland-based Fraser was introduced to the script — penned by »

- Jennie Punter

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