Kiwi Trans Series Hulu-Bound
The TV version of a NZ movie about a small-town transgender activist will stream on Hulu in the US.
Conceived as a five-part web-series, Rūrangi had its world premiere in last year’s NZ International Film Festival and has been playing in a handful of cinemas since February 4, where it’s grossed $13,588.
“The five episodes have been cut down and assembled into a coherent and briskly paced film that only occasionally betrays its small-screen origins,” Stuff’s Graeme Tuckett said in his review.
The performances and writing are universally strong, the camera work, sound and – especially – the editing are excellent and the storytelling is clear and sharp. If, just occasionally, the dialogue is a little too keen to teach, that is a minor and understandable flaw.
Rūrangi is a film to celebrate and enjoy. It is also – and I’ve never written this in a review before – a film that will quite probably save a few lives. I hope that everyone who needs to see it, somehow gets the opportunity.
Rūrangi also will stream here on Neon in May and screen on the Rialto Channel in June; a second season is in the works.
Here’s the media release:
Award-winning Series Rūrangi Secures Major Streaming Deals In NZ And USA
After capturing the hearts of audiences and critics around the nation and the world, Aotearoa created series Rūrangi has secured a major victory with the news that Season 1 is hitting streaming services both here and abroad – available for streaming exclusively with Neon in New Zealand in May 2021 and on Hulu in the USA in June 2021.
Rūrangi has also been sold to Peccadillo Pictures in the UK who are aiming to release Rūrangi later in 2021, and Rialto Channel will be screening Rūrangi in New Zealand from June.
After skipping town a decade ago, transgender activist Caz Davis returns to the remote, politically divided dairy community of Rūrangi, hoping to reconnect with his estranged father, who hasn’t heard from him since before Caz transitioned.
First introduced to audiences in a searing debut at the 2020 New Zealand International Film Festival, the film version of Rūrangi has gone on to enjoy audience acclaimed screenings at San Francisco’s Frameline and Sydney’s Mardi Gras Film Festival, and a celebrated domestic cinema release throughout Aotearoa.
The ground-breaking production takes a dedicated approach to representation both on screen and behind the camera. In the face of the #metoo movement and a major push towards equality within the screen industry, there is an entire community of people that don’t fall into either of the binaries who, historically, have been overlooked by mass movements of change; gender diverse people.
Although there has been progress in casting, resulting in occasional representation on larger mainstream productions, these roles are always supporting roles. Rūrangi is a production which tackles this lack of visibility not just through casting, but through the sharing of power and creative decision-making throughout its production structure.
This includes the very top, with trans activist Cole Meyers credited as both Rūrangi’s series writer and co-producer.
Rūrangi is directed by Max Currie and created & written by Cole Meyers and Oliver Page. The cast includes: Elz Carrad, Kirk Torrance, Āwhina Rose Henare Ashby, Arlo Green, Ramon Te Wake, Aroha Rawson, Renee Lyons, Renée Sheridan. It is produced by Craig Gainsborough for Autonomouse and co-produced by Tweedie Waititi, Cole Meyers, Max Currie and Melissa Nickerson.
The series has been created with support from NZ on Air, New Zealand Film Commission, Prospect Films, New Zealand Media and Entertainment and Goethe Institut.
The second season of the series is currently in development.