Teaser trailer and poster revealed for Rachel House's debut feature The Mountain


The poster and teaser trailer for Aotearoa New Zealand actor Rachel House’s (Ngāti Mutunga, Te Atiawa, Kāi Tahu) directorial debut, The Mountain, has today been unveiled ahead of its just announced world premiere on Tuesday 19 March in New Plymouth, Taranaki. 

Following the world premiere the film will be released nationwide in New Zealand cinemas on Thursday 28 March.

The Mountain is a heartfelt drama about three children on a mission to find healing under the watchful eye of Taranaki Maunga (Mountain) and discover friendship in the spirit of adventure.

Sam, a fearless young girl raised outside of her Māori culture, is determined to fulfil her mission of connecting with her mountain in the hope they can heal her from the cancer she battles. Along the way she meets some misfits and new kids in town – Mallory, hoping to find friends, any kind of friends - and Bronco who claims to be a runaway from his dad who is too busy to notice him. As they make their way through the difficult “off the beaten track” route, they learn the true spirit of adventure and the magic of friendship.

The Mountain is also the acting debuts of three children, Elizabeth Atkinson (Te Atiawa, Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Tama, Kāi Tahu), Reuben Francis, and Terence Daniel (Ngāti Kahungunu, Raukawa ki Wharepūhunga, Kuki Airani – Aitutaki) in the leading roles. 

They are joined by Troy Kingi (Te Arawa, Ngāpuhi, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui) (Muru), Byron Coll (Nude Tuesday), Fern Sutherland (Brokenwood Mysteries), and Sukena Shah

The film is co-written by House and Tom Furniss and a full trailer will be released next month. 

“Everyone involved in the making of this film was led by Taranaki Maunga. The Mountain was central to the story so it was an amazing gift to be able shoot the majority of our movie in Taranaki. It is only fitting that our worldwide premiere be there too. With the generosity of mana whenua we have been able to represent Taranaki in this story about longing, resilience, and healing with three pretty cool kids living their best lives,” says House.

House is best known for her performances in Aotearoa New Zealand’s most successful films Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Boy, and Whale Rider and plays lead roles in Disney’s Moana and Pixar’s Soul.  She currently appears in Our Flag Means Death 2 for HBO, Netflix’s Heartbreak High and Apple’s Foundation and has an upcoming role in Time Bandits and the upcoming Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire. Behind the scenes, House has coached young cast on many film and television productions including Top of the Lake, Boy, Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Jojo Rabbit, and has a 15-year background as an award-winning theatre director and actor.

The Mountain is produced by Piki Films (JoJo Rabbit, Hunt for the Wilderpeople) and Sandy Lane Productions (Bad Behaviour, Juniper) with Desray Armstrong (Te Aitanga-ā-Hauiti, Ngāti Porou) for Sandy Lane Productions and Morgan Waru (Ngāti Porou) for Piki Films and Carthew Neal, Taika Waititi (Te-Whānau-ā-Apanui) and Paul Wiegard serving as Executive Producers.

The film was shot on location around Taranaki, with support from Taranaki whānui. The descendants of eight iwi (Māori tribes) view Taranaki Maunga, and the surrounding peaks of Pouakai and Kaitake, as ancestors, and the mountains have recently been given legal personhood as part of a redress for their confiscation 157 years ago.

The film is made with funding from the New Zealand Film Commission, the New Zealand Government’s Screen Production Grant, NZ On Air, Whaakata Māori, Department of Post, Native Audio, Nude Run, Hillfarrance and financed in association with Kiwibank. The film is distributed in New Zealand by Madman and Piki Films and in Australia by Madman.

 Te Puna Umanga Venture Taranaki, the Regional Film Office, is supporting the premiere and is thrilled Taranaki will play host to the world premiere.

"This is a significant and exciting event for our region as we celebrate the launch of this heart-felt feature, and we’re proud to have supported the extremely talented production team, cast, and crew, along with the premiere as the Taranaki Regional Film Office,” said Brylee Flutey, GM Destination, Te Puna Umanga Venture Taranaki.

The Mountain will be released nationwide in New Zealand cinemas from Thursday 28 March 2023.


Download Poster images here

Watch the Teaser Trailer here

Download the Teaser Trailer here 






For more information, please contact:

Bex Martelletti // 818

[email protected]

+64 027 528 6839