Mata, Missy and Makareta. Three cousins. Three lives. Separated by circumstances, yet bound together by blood. Orphaned Mata believes she has no whanau and lives out her lonely childhood in fear and bewilderment. Back home on the land, educated Makareta flees an arranged marriage to study law and begin the search for her missing cousin. She leaves behind cheeky yet dutiful Missy who takes on her role of kaitiaki (guardian) of the land. As the years pass, loss of the family land seems imminent and the women’s promise to bring their stolen cousin home seems more unlikely than ever, until a chance encounter changes everything.
John H. Groberg, a middle class kid from Idaho Falls, crosses the Pacific to become a Mormon missionary in the remote and exotic Tongan island kingdom during the 1950’s. He leaves behind a loving family and the true love of his life, Jean. Through letters and musings across the miles, John shares his humbling and sometimes hilarious adventures with “the girl back home”, and her letters buoy up his spirits in difficult times. John must struggle to overcome language barriers, physical hardship and deep-rooted suspicion to earn the trust and love of the Tongan people he has come to serve. Throughout his adventure-filled three years on the islands, he discovers friends and wisdom in the most unlikely places. John H. Groberg’s Tongan odyssey will change his life forever.
Singer Stan Walker makes his acting debut playing the lead role in feature film Mt Zion, shot in Pukekohe, Auckland. Walker stars as Turei, a talented young musician with a dream – for his band to win the audition to be the support act for Bob Marley’s 1979 concert in Auckland. Set amongst a Maori family of contract potato pickers in Pukekohe, in which Turei’s desperate ambition clashes with traditional whanau values, leading to an emotional showdown and powerful change. Temuera Morrison (Once Were Warriors), plays Turei’s father, the hard-working head contractor who has some lost ambitions of his own. Mt Zion is written and directed by Tearepa Kahi, who made the international award-winning short film Taua. Stan Walker won the 2009 Australian Idol singing contest and is now signed to Sony Music as a recording artist and EMI publishing as song writer.