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The Orchard Catches Sundance Favorite “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”

Jan 27, 2016

Taika Waititi’s comic adventure one of the most talked about films at Sundance

PARK CITY, UT – January 27, 2016 – The Orchard announced today that the company has acquired all North American distribution rights to Taika Waititi’s HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE. The crowd-pleasing comedy/adventure, based on the book Wild Pork and Watercress by Barry Crump premiered Friday night at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival where it has been one of the most well received films by critics and audiences alike. The deal, closing just under $2 million, includes a traditional theatrical release. The film marks the second collaboration between Waititi and The Orchard, who released his and Jemaine Clement’s 2015 “What We Do in the Shadows” in all post-theatrical windows, including digital, on demand, DVD and SVOD.

Written by Waititi, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE stars Sam Neill, breakout Julian Dennison, Rima Te Wiata, Rachel House, Oscar Kightley and Rhys Darby. The film is produced by Carthew Neal, Leanne Saunders, Taika Waititi, and Matt Noonan and executive produced by James Wallace and Charlie McClellan.

In HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE, Ricky (Julian Dennison) is a defiant young city kid who finds himself on the run with his cantankerous foster uncle (Sam Neill) in the wild New Zealand bush. A national manhunt ensues, and the two are forced to put aside their differences and work together in this hilarious and heartfelt adventure.

“This film captures so much of what we love about Taika – it’s wildly funny, endearing, smart and it deserves as big an audience as possible,” said Paul Davidson, The Orchard’s SVP, Film and Television. “We pursued this film for all of those reasons but also because we genuinely love being in business with Taika.”

“We developed a really strong relationship with The Orchard on ‘What We Do In The Shadows.’ They did such a great job on that release that I’m really pleased to be partnering with them again on ‘Wilderpeople.’ I’m excited the film will be getting a theatrical release in North America. It was the main thing we wanted coming into Sundance, so we’re all going home happy,” said Waititi.

Protagonist Pictures is handling international sales for the film, with CAA co-repping in North America. CAA negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers and Craig Sussman on behalf of The Orchard.


The Orchard is a pioneering independent film, TV and music distribution company that operates in over 25 global markets. The company, founded as a music distributor in 1997, is a groundbreaking leader in the film and television distribution space, known for its innovative technology that provides filmmakers with up-to-the minute trending data and analytics on their projects. The Orchard’s film division has enjoyed such recent successes as the Academy Award-nominated documentary “Cartel Land,” “The Overnight,” “Dior & I” and “What We Do in the Shadows.” Upcoming releases include Academy Award-winner Morgan Neville’s “The Music of Strangers” and Joachim Trier’s “Louder Than Bombs.”