New Zealand hit to get U.S. release

Distributor Paladin has picked up New Zealand hit “Boy” for U.S. distribution in the fourth quarter of this year.

Comedy from writer-helmer Taika Waititi tells a semi-autobiographical tale, set in 1984, about a Michael Jackson-obsessed Maori boy whose fanciful imaginings about his absent father are dashed when his father returns. Based on Waititi’s short “Two Cars, One Night,” the movie incorporates animation and musical numbers.

Film, which played Sundance in 2010, has picked up kudos at Berlinale and at AFI Fest in L.A., as well as scoring several trophies at the New Zealand Film and Television Awards.

“Boy” will be distributed by Paladin and Unison Films in association with Radius Films. Movie joins a Paladin slate that also includes the current “Love Etc.” and upcoming offerings “One Fall,” “The Whale,” “Connected” and “A Bird of the Air.”

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