Written and directed by Tearepa Kahi (Mt Zion) and starring Maaka Pohatu (The Modern Maori Quartet, Two Little Boys) the film tells the story of musician Dalvanius Prime and the origin of the song “Poi E”, a ground-breaking fusion of 1980s pop and traditional Māori music. “Poi E”, composed by Dalvanius and Ngoingoi Pēwhairangi and performed by the Patea Māori Club, remains the only song in Te Reo Māori to reach No 1 in the charts, over 30 years since its 1984 release.

“Poi E” topped the charts for four weeks and was the biggest-selling single in New Zealand for 1984. After featuring in Taika Waititi’s blockbuster film Boy, “Poi E” reached No 3 again in 2010.

“Poi E” is also credited with saving the Taranaki town of Patea by creating income and lifting morale after the closure of the freezing works, the town’s main industry, in 1982. The Patea Māori Club toured the world performing the song and still perform it regularly.

The film is produced by Tearepa Kahi, Reikura Kahi and Alexander Behse through their company The Patea Film Collective with the support of the Dalvanius Prime Estate and the Patea Maori Club. It is funded by the New Zealand Film Commission, Te Māngai Paho, Māori Television and NZ OnAir and will be distributed by Sony Pictures New Zealand.