Julian Dennison, who broke out in Taika Waititi’s comedy Hunt for the Wilderpeople before landing roles in Deadpool 2 and Godzilla vs. Kong, is set to star alongside Minnie Driver, plus James Rolleston (The Dark Horse, Boy) and Erana James (The Wilds, The Changeover), in coming-of-age story One Winter.
The film will be directed by Paul Middleditch (Terra Nova, A Cold Summer) and Hamish Bennett (Bellbird), based on a story by Middleditch, Keith Aberdein. and Sonia Whiteman. Bennett and Whiteman are adapting the screenplay.
Troy Lum (Saving Mr. Banks, The Water Diviner) serves as executive producer. The film is produced by Emma Slade, Sandra Kailahi, Angela Cudd, Angela Sullivan and Alberto Marzan. Blue Fox Entertainment is handling international sales and introducing the film in Cannes. Principal photography is set to start this summer in New Zealand.
One Winter is set in New Zealand in 1981, when the arrival of the South African rugby team sets off nationwide protests against apartheid and racism. Josh Waaka (Dennison), a 17-year-old of mixed race who has been a passive bystander all his life, is suddenly forced to stand up for himself, his whānau, or family, and his future.
“One Winter has everything I look for in a story – great characters, humor, poignancy and, ultimately, hope,” said Bennett. “It is at once intimately personal and universal, and we strongly believe that audiences will form a connection to the film that transcends culture, country and era. I feel privileged to be a part of the project.”
Dennison is represented by Jude Lane of Red Rocket Actors, Link Entertainment and Stride Management. Driver is repped by CAA, Independent Talent Group and Untitled Entertainment. Rolleston is repped by The ProActors. James is repped by RGM Artists and Middleditch is represented by Paradigm.