Directed by Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu (Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa) and written by Maddie Dai with additional writing by Stewart-Te Whiu, We Were Dangerous, will have its world premiere in Austin, Texas at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in March 2024.
Produced for Piki Films (Jojo Rabbit, The Breaker Upperers, Hunt for the Wilderpeople) by Morgan Waru (Ngāti Porou) and Polly Fryer the film stars Erana James (Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Waikato Tainui), Nathalie Morris, new discovery Manaia Hall (Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Manawa, Ngāti Pukenga) and Rima Te Wiata (Ngāti Raukawa). Carthew Neal, Taika Waititi (Te-Whānau-ā-Apanui), Bill Way, Elliott Whitton and Emily Gotto are Executive Producers. We Were Dangerous was shot on location in the South Island of New Zealand. Filming on Ōtamahua Island was done with the support of Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke.
The film tells the fictional story of Nellie (Erana James), Lou (Nathalie Morris) and Daisy (Manaia Hall) who attend an institution for delinquent girls on an isolated island. The trio rail against the system, finding strength in their friendship. But this is challenged when the school’s matron (Rima Te Wiata) divides them.
“It is a huge privilege to be premiering at an international festival that celebrates unique voices and energetic cinema. Some of my favourite films have premiered there, so to follow in their path with our story that celebrates female sisterhood is a dream come true. I can't wait to share what we have made with the world.” said Stewart-Te Whiu.
We Were Dangerous was made with investment from the New Zealand Film Commission, the New Zealand Government’s Screen Production Rebate, Fit Via Vi, Screen CanterburyNZ, Department of Post, Native Audio, and Kiwibank. The film will be distributed in New Zealand by Madman and Piki Films, and by Madman in Australia.