Filming under way for Pasifika and Māori action film

An all-star Pasifika and Māori cast is currently filming a new action film in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) called The Legend of Baron To’a.

Words Lara Wyatt. Photo Tom Hollow

The cast of The Legend of Baron To’a includes Uli Latukefu (Alien: Covenant, Marco Polo), Nathaniel Lees (The Matrix Reloaded), Jay Laga’aia (Star Wars), John Tui (Battleship, Hobbs & Shaw), Shavaughn Ruakere (Shortland Street), Pua Magasiva (Shortland Street) and Fasitua Amosa (Auckland Daze, Fresh Eggs). 

The Legend of Baron To’a also introduces director Kiel McNaughton in his directorial debut.  

“The all-star brown cast we have assembled for this film is amazing. I’ve always wanted my first feature to be an action film and with a great script from writer John Argall, and some amazing action sequences put together by our world-class local crew, this film is going to be a lot of fun. I can’t wait to bring it to life,” says McNaughton.  

The film tells the story of a Tongan entrepreneur who returns to his old neighbourhood and inadvertently causes the theft of his late father’s valued pro wrestling title belt by some ruthless gangsters. When negotiation and diplomacy fail to get it back, he is forced to embrace his father’s legacy to reclaim the title. 

The Legend of Baron To’a‘s producer Kerry Warkia, under the Brown Sugar Apple Grunt Productions banner, has worked with McNaughton on the critically acclaimed films Waru and Vai, as well as the TV series Auckland DazeThis is Piki and Find Me A Māori Bride. 

Filming is under way, and will run through until the end of May 2019. 

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