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Whale Rider (New Zealand, 2002)

Directed by Niki Caro. Cast: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rawiri Paratene, Vicky Haughton, Cliff Curtis, Grant Roa, Mana Taumaunu, Rachel House. The Whangara people believe their ancestor Paikea was saved from drowning by riding home on the back of a whale. The tribal group has since granted leadership positions to the first-born males, believing them to be descendants of Paikea. But then a young mother dies in childbirth along with her newborn male son. His twin sister survives and the little girl, Pai, is brought up by her grandparents. Learning the skills of chiefdom from her uncle, Pai shows that she has natural leadership ability. 101 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database
Awards
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards - BAFTA Children's Award - Best Feature Film
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards - Best Young Actor/Actress (Keisha Castle-Hughes)
National Board of Review, USA - Special Recognition for excellence in filmmaking.
San Francisco International Film Festival - Audience Award, Best Narrative Feature
Sundance Film Festival - Audience Award, World Cinema
Toronto International Film Festival - People's Choice Awards
Awards British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards - BAFTA Children's Award - Best Feature Film Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards - Best Young Actor/Actress (Keisha Castle-Hughes) National Board of Review, USA - Special Recognition for excellence in filmmaking. San Francisco International Film Festival - Audience Award, Best Narrative Feature Sundance Film Festival - Audience Award, World Cinema Toronto International Film Festival - People's Choice Awards

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