Italy, World War 2. In the shadow of Monte Cassino Monastery, a battle-hardened Māori soldier pursues a rooster into a stable but hidden inside is an Italian deserter hides. The two men find themselves trapped in a dangerous standoff. Neither knows which side the other man is on or what the other is saying, and their attempts to communicate are ridiculous. They recognise in each other a genuine humanity, and more importantly, both are equally hungry. Together they capture the rooster, cook and eat it. Calmed by full bellies, the Italian shares that his wife and child are sheltering inside the Monastery. With the sound of bombers in the distance, the Māori man knows they are heading to destroy the ancient Monastery.
Paolo Rotondo is a multidisciplinary artist, working in Film, TV and Theatre as Director, Writer, and Actor. Paolo won acclaim for his multi- award-winning debut feature film ‘Orphans & Kingdoms’. His short films have been screened worldwide and studied in NZ high schools. Paolo’s published acclaimed Plays have toured internationally, including Strange Resting Places, from which Maunga Cassino is adapted. Paolo’s creative life began as an actor, starring in numerous NZ films and TV series. Recently Paolo can be seen in a lead role in the BBC Production of Elenor Catton’s The Luminaries. Paolo continues to write for film and Theatre with various long-form projects in development. Paolo has directed over 30 TV Commercials, and in 2015, with his wife, Renee, established the Italian Film Festival, now in its 8th year. Paolo and Renee are proud parents of Sofia and Dario.
Te Kohe Tuhaka
Of Ngati Porou and Ngai Tūhoe tribal descent, Te Kohe is an acclaimed actor in theatre, television and film whose first language is Te Reo Maori. Te Kohe is a series regular in the upcoming series Chief of War, starring alongside Jason Momoa. He is also Co-Producer with Robin Scholes (Once Were Warriors) on Lee Tamahori’s upcoming movie The Convert, starring Guy Pearce. Te Kohe features in Korero Mai, the web series, Ahikaroa and the supernatural adventure movie, and the series The Dead Lands directed by Toa Fraser. He also features in Lee Tamahori’s Mahana and appeared in Monster Problems, starring Dylan O’Brien. Te Kohe’s celebrated stage performances include playing Othello and the award-winning solo show Michael James Manaia which toured extensively throughout New Zealand. Te Kohe’s drama series Ashes and Prophets is in development with Warner Brothers New Zealand.
Original Language: Te Reo Māori and Italian
Subtitles: English, Ita &Eng, Italian
Month and Year of Production: June 2022
Color/Black and White: Black and White
Camera: Arri Mini,Cooke Anamorphic Lenses
Audio: Dolby Atmos
Country of Production: Aotearoa New Zealand
Director: Paolo Rotondo
Production: Fish Entertainment
Producer: Andrew Marshall, Luke Robinson, Te Kohe Tuhaka
Cast: Te Kohe Tuhaka, Paolo Rotondo
Photography: Fred Renata
Editing: Ben Chesters
Music / Original Soundtrack: Giovanni Rotondo
Set Design: John Allen