We acknowledge Australia’s First Nations People as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land, and pay respect to the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, upon whose Country SFF are based.
We honour the storytelling and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia.

The Convert

Directed by Lee Tamahori
New Zealand, Australia
119 minutes
Unclassified 15+
Book Tickets
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Guy Pearce stars as a British preacher caught up in 1830s Māori wars in Lee Tamahori’s (Once Were Warriors, 1993; Mahana, SFF 2016) sweeping historical drama. Toronto 2023.

When Thomas Munro (Pearce, excellent) arrives in the tiny coastal settlement of Epworth in 1830, he finds discontent, suspicion and friction. After saving the life of a chief’s daughter, Rangimai (Tioreore Ngatai-Melbourne, Hunt for the Wilderpeople), Munro is thrust into political intrigue during the devastating Musket Wars between Māori tribes. Tamahori paints a meticulously detailed portrait of Māori communities and culture in the early days of colonialism, whilst expertly weaving in Munro’s troubled past which intrudes on the increasingly bloody conflict surrounding him. Stunningly filmed in widescreen on location, including Whatipū beach, The Convert delivers gripping drama and extraordinary action.

Limited seats are available for patrons requiring access for wheelchairs, low vision and hearing loop. Please contact our ticketing team directly on 1300 733 733 or tickets@sff.org.au to complete your booking.
A tremendous feat of reclamation, a Māori story told by a Māori director in the Māori language with a large Māori cast
Ankit Jhunjhunwala, The Playlist
It’s impossible not to succumb to the breathtakingly imposing landscapes
Carlos Aguilar, Variety
Weaves a strong net of spectacle and sorrow
Liam Maguren, Flicks

Special Guests

Lee Tamahori
Director, Screenwriter
Lee Tamahori is an internationally acclaimed filmmaker of Ngāti Porou descent. Based in New Zealand, Tamahori's Hollywood credits include Next (2007) and The Devil’s Double (2011). His acclaimed debut feature Once Were Warriors (1994) won the Anicaflash Prize at Venice in 1994, and the Best Director Award at the NZ Film and Television Awards.
Te Kohe Tuhaka
Te Kohe Tuhaka is a te reo Māori-speaking actor and presenter, renowned for his television credits in New Zealand. A graduate of New Zealand’s leading drama school, Toi Whakaari, Tuhaka first appeared in Taika Waititi’s short film Tama Tū, and has appeared on the series Shortland Street. Tuhaka also starred in Lee Tamahori’s The Patriarch.
Andrew Mason
Andrew Mason is a producer with credits across both local and international films, including The Matrix (2010) and Tomorrow, When the War Began. More recently, he produced the acclaimed Netflix series Boy Swallows Universe and feature film Lee starring Kate Winslet (also screening at the Festival).
Troy Lum
Troy Lum is a producer and founder of Brouhaha Entertainment. His career began in film distribution at Dendy Films in 1998. Lum later launched the independent Australian distributor Hopscotch Films. His producer credits include The Water Diviner (2014) and Nekrotronic (2018). He was inducted into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2019.
Robin Scholes
Robin Scholes is a New Zealand-based producer. She was one of the founding partners and executive directors of Communicdo, where she developed a number of both docu-dramas (Heros, Magic Kiwis) and fictional dramas (Greenstone, The Chosen). Scholes has previously collaborated with Lee Tamahori on Once Were Warriors, and The Patriarch.
Tioreore Ngatai-Melbourne
Tioreore Ngatai-Melbourne is a Māori storyteller and actress of Ngāti Porou and Ngai Tūhoe descent. A graduate of Toi Whakaari, Ngatai-Melbourne’s performance credits include We Are Still Here (SFF Opening Night 2022), Cousins (2021), and Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016), and she has recently expanded into filmmaking with her short film E Rangi Rā, supported by Māoriland Film.


Fri 7 Jun
State Theatre
Selling Fast
Assisted Listening
Book Tickets Cancel
Sun 9 Jun
Hayden Orpheum Cremorne - Cinema 5
Assisted Listening
Book Tickets Cancel
Wed 12 Jun
Ritz Randwick - Cinema 5
Assisted Listening
Book Tickets Cancel
Program Strand
Special Presentations, Special Presentations, First Nations Award, First Nations Award
Unclassified 15+
New Zealand, Australia
In English and Māori with English subtitles
Lee Tamahori
Robin Scholes, Te Kohe Tuhaka, Andrew Mason, Troy Lum
Tioreore Ngatai-Melbourne, Guy Pearce, Antonio Te Maioha
Lee Tamahori, Shane Danielsen
Gin Loane
Luke Haigh
Australian Premiere
Australian Films, First Nations, Religion & Belief
Company Credits
Australian Distributor: Kismet Movies
Official Website
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