Issue date: 
Thursday, 2 February 2023

From the producers of The Breaker Upperers, Cousins and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Red, White & Brass is the debut feature film for director Damon Fepulea’i who co-wrote with co-producer Halaifonua (Nua) Finau. The film stars John-Paul Foliaki (Popstars), Dimitrius Schuster-Koloamatangi (The Panthers), Ilaisaane Green (Brutal Lives), Onetoto Ikavuka, Mikey Falesiu (Toke), Lupeti Finau, Lotima Pome'e (Under the Vines), and Haanz Fa'avae-Jackson (Savage).

Tongan people are renowned for their enthusiastic support of their sport teams; decorating their cars, houses and faces with the Tongan flag. Inspired by a true story, Red, White & Brass showcases this māfana energy. The underdog story follows a community of Tongans who form a brass band as the pre-game entertainment in a desperate attempt to get tickets to the 2011 Rugby World Cup Tonga vs France game.

“The māfana energy in the film is infectious,” says Fepulea’i. “I can’t wait for Kiwis to see this film on 23rd March, and what's possible when you band together for a common goal.”

Finau was in the original band that performed at the Rugby World Cup in 2011. He is excited to see the Tongan community represented authentically on the big screen.

“Ever since we shot the film my DM’s have been full with people asking when they can see the film,” says Nua. “Kainga, the wait is over! Hope you enjoy this sneak peak!!”

This whole-hearted and fun film was shot in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington and will be released in Aotearoa to New Zealand audiences on Thursday 23 March 2023 before its international release.

Red, White & Brass is a Piki Films and Miss Conception production produced by Georgina Conder, Morgan Waru, Halaifonua Finau and executive produced by Carthew Neal, Ainsley Gardiner and Taika Waititi. The film has funding from the New Zealand Film Commission, the New Zealand Government’s Screen Production Grant and Screen Production Recovery Fund, NZ on Air, Warner Bros. Discovery ANZ, Angel Investors Marlborough, Department of Post and Kiwibank. The film is distributed in New Zealand & Australia by Madman, Piki Films and M2S1 Films.

Last updated: 
Thursday, 2 February 2023