Rachael Wilson's film Yakel pips Sir Peter Jackson's The
Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey, by a fortnight. Photo by
Lake Hawea film-maker is set to deny Sir Peter Jackson's
new 3-D movie The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey
, a prime
place in New Zealand film history.
While the Hobbit premiered in Wellington last night,
it won't begin screening in New Zealand cinemas until
And that will make it the second New Zealand-made 3-D movie
to do so.
The first will be Rachael Wilson's film Yakel, A Real Life
Story of Survival, which opens in cinemas tomorrow in
Dunedin, Auckland and Wanaka.
It tells the story of the last days of Johnson Kowia, the
108-year-old chief of the village of Yakel on the island of
Tanna, in Vanuatu, and his fears for the village's future.
Ms Wilson's film premiered in Dunedin two years ago but is
only now being released nationwide.
Unlike The Hobbit, Yakel was made on a
shoestring budget and its director, Ms Wilson, is now acting
as distributor, selling the film wherever possible.
She said the film sold "really well" overseas but she was
finding promoting the film in New Zealand this month an
uphill battle because of the national media's focus on The
With just three people on the payroll, Ms Wilson considered
Yakel to be at the opposite end of the film-making
spectrum to The Hobbit.