Array Releasing Boards New Zealand Indigenous Drama Cousins

Array Releasing, the distribution arm of Ava DuVernay’s production company, has picked up North America, UK and Ireland rights on the feature Cousins, helmed by Māori filmmaking duo Ainsley Gardiner and Briar Grace-Smith.

Pic debuted at No. 1 at the New Zealand box office when it was released earlier this year. It follows three Māori cousins—Mata, Missy and Makareta—who lead separate lives, yet are bound together forever. Cast includes Rachel House (Moana), Tanea Heke (No .2), co-director Briar Grace Smith (Waru), Ana Scotney (The Breaker Upperers), Tioreore Ngatai-Melbourne (Hunt For The Wilderpeople), Hariata Moriarty (Savage), Mihi Te Rauhi Daniels, Te Raukura Gray and Keyahne Patrick-Williams.

Array will release on July 2 in U.S. select theaters, while the pic will steam on Netflix beginning July 22.

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The acquisition was negotiated by Gordon Bobb of Del, Shaw on behalf of Array, and Gardner and Grace-Smith on behalf of the film.

Cousins is a beautiful story exploring identity, culture and family that goes beyond borders and time,” Array president Tilane Jones said. “Ainsley Gardiner and Briar Grace-Smith have crafted an impassioned adaptation of Patricia Grace’s classic novel that allows insight and understanding into the Māori culture, as well as the injustice faced by many indigenous groups. We are inspired at Array to be able to work with this talented duo and bring this powerful film to audiences across the globe.”

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