Gisborne turns on glitz for Mahana premiere

By Aroha Treacher

It was a big night for Akuhata Keefe as he prepared to walk the red carpet for the Gisborne premiere of Mahana.

The 15-year-old actor originally from Tolaga Bay returned home to some Gisborne fanfare as locals pulled out all the stops.

The cast and crew were welcomed onto the family marae of writer Witi Ihimaera at Rongopai Marae by locals including the students of the Tolaga Bay Area School.

The students also welcomed guests and cast and crew onto the red carpet , as the actors arrived in a special vintage car entourage for the night's celebrations.

Mahana is a movie about two Māori rural shearing families a film based on Ihimaera’s semi-autobiographical novel Bulibasha: King Of The Gypsies and is set in Patutahi and Manutuke. It is set in rural New Zealand in the 1960s and includes other cast members such as Temuera Morrison.