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Māori Boy Genius gets cinema release
Ngā Rauira Pumanawhiti. Image source:

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It’s been a hit at film festivals here and overseas, and now the general public can see the documentary Māori Boy Genius.The film tracks 16-year-old Ngā Rauira Pumanawawhiti, focusing on his supportive family life and his emerging political consciousness over a year that include the birth of his fifth sibling and attending Yale University's prestigious summer semester programme.

Director Pietra Brettkelly says the documentary has now been translated into numerous languages.

“This story of a young Māori boy from Hawkes Bay, Tūhoe is his main iwi but he has other iwi as well. That is a story that has resonated all over the world. This is a kid who has broken through the statistics for young Māori, and he is showing a pathway that I hope others will see the movie and say I could do that,” she says.

Pietra Brettkelly says Ngā Raūira Pumanawawhiti is now 19 and studying for a masters degree at Te Wānanga ō Raukawa in Otaki.

Māori Boy Genius opened today at New Zealand cinemas.

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