BOY to open 11th annual imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival

(Toronto) – Winner of the Berlin Film Festival’s Grand Prix for Best Feature Film, Taika Waititi’s BOY will open this year’s imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival on October 20, 2010 at 7:00pm at the Bloor Cinema.

Written, directed and starring Taika Waititi (Maori Te Whanau-a-Apanui), BOY is a hilarious and heartfelt coming-of-age story that kicks back to 1984 on the rural east coast of New Zealand, a time when “Thriller” is changing kids’ lives. Inspired by Waititi’s Oscar-nominated Two Cars, One Night, BOY is about heroes, magic, and Michael Jackson.

“BOY is a landmark work from an incredibly talented filmmaker,” says imagineNATIVE’s Executive Director Jason Ryle. “Since his first screening at imagineNATIVE, Taika’s career has grown and flourished. His work continues to impress audiences around the world and we’re very excited to have the Canadian premiere of his new feature at the festival. It’s a moving, funny film that Toronto audiences are sure to embrace.”

Eleven-year-old Boy lives with his brother Rocky, a ragtag group of cousins, and his Nan. Boy’s other hero – and the object of his adventurous fantasies – is his father Alamein. He imagines him as a deep sea diver, war hero, and a close relation of Michael Jackson (in reality he’s “in the can for robbery.”). When Alamein returns home after seven years away, Boy is forced to confront the man he thought he remembered, find his own potential and learn to get along in a world without heroes.

BOY has made $9 million at the New Zealand box office since its release in March, making it that country’s second highest-grossing film ever behind Once Were Warriors and Goodbye Pork Pie.

Mr. Waititi is available prior to the Festival for interviews by phone or email.

The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, the largest Indigenous festival of its kind in the world, will celebrate its 11th year running October 20 – 24, 2010 at the Al Green Theatre and various other venues in downtown Toronto. imagineNATIVE celebrates new works by Indigenous people on the forefront of innovation in film, video, radio and new media.

The Festival officially kicks off at 1:00pm on October 20 with a Welcome Reception at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto. Open to the public, the reception features performances, welcome addresses and traditional North American Indigenous food in a casual, fun atmosphere.

This year imagineNATIVE shines its annual International Spotlight on Taiwan. Home to 14 distinct Indigenous nations, Taiwan is a nation of fascinating histories and socio-political dynamics with a burgeoning Indigenous film and television industry.

imagineNATIVE continues to bring cutting-edge new media artists and work to Toronto. Featuring gallery-based exhibitions, public interface experiences and culturally significant web-based projects, this year’s new media programming promises to be exciting, innovative and challenging.

Radio works at imagineNATIVE have a new focus this year in a curated program featuring the most innovative, entertaining, and thought-provoking works from Indigenous radio programs from around the world.

Opening Night screening tickets to BOY cost $12 ($10 for Seniors, Students and the Underemployed) which includes admission to the Opening Night party. General admission to regular screenings costs only $7. imagineNATIVE is pleased to offer FREE daytime tickets (before 6:00 pm) to Seniors, Students and the Underemployed. Festival Passes are available for $100 ($60 for Seniors, Students and the Underemployed). Tickets to the Closing Night Screening are $12 ($10 for Seniors, Students and the Underemployed) which includes admission to the Closing Night Awards Celebration. Admission to the festival’s New Media installations are FREE. Tickets and passes will be available for sale at on September 28, details for ticket sales in-person and by phone will to be released at a later date.

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