Whale Rider: Culver City, CA (August 28, 2003) - Winner of prestigious audience awards at the Sundance, Toronto, San Francisco, Rotterdam and Seattle Film Festivals, WHALE RIDER is the radiant story of an exceptional young girl's coming of age, and of a proud Maori (indigenous people of New Zealand) community's struggle to embrace new ways of thinking. A compelling and emotionally-resonant family drama, WHALE RIDER became the crowd-pleasing surprise hit of the summer with audiences across the country, grossing more than $14 million during its limited national theatrical run.

WHALE RIDER will be released October 28 from Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment and Newmarket Films on VHS and Special Edition DVD which includes family-friendly bonus features such as eight deleted scenes, director commentary, two in-depth featurettes and more.

Written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Niki Caro (Memory and Desire), the fable tells the story of Pai, a fearless 12-year-old girl who dares to challenge the ancient traditions of her people in order to fulfill her destiny despite tremendous opposition from Koro, her grandfather, who is chief of their village. Set in the present, WHALE RIDER re-interprets a 1000-year-old sacred legend belonging to the Maori culture of a particular coastal village.

Adored by critics nationwide, WHALE RIDER has been heralded as "the inspiring resonance of found art" (The New York Times), "amazingly, amazingly emotional" (Roger Ebert, Ebert & Roeper), "glorious" (Interview Magazine), "contemporary and timeless" (USA Today), "enchanting" (Wall Street Journal) and "there's magic in it!" (Rolling Stone).

Adapted from the much-loved and best-selling 1986 book by Witi Ihimaera, the first Maori novelist to be published in New Zealand, the film was shot entirely on the magnificent East Coast landscape of New Zealand's North Island. WHALE RIDER stars newcomer Keisha Castle-Hughes along with three of New Zealand's most distinguished actors, Rawiri Paratene, Vicky Haughton and Cliff Curtis. The film is produced by Tim Sanders, John Barnett and Frank Hubner. Executive producers are Bill Gavin and Linda Goldstein Knowlton.

SPECIAL EDITION DVD BONUS FEATURES INCLUDE:

* Digitally Mastered Audio & Anamorphic Video

* Mastered in High Definition

* Widescreen Presentation

* Director Commentary

* Eight Deleted Scenes

* Behind the Scenes featurette

* "Te Waka: Building the Canoe" featurette

* Art Gallery

* Storyboard Gallery

* Audio: English (Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Surround 2.0)

* Subtitles: English, Spanish

* Theatrical Trailer

* Scene Selections

CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER THIS DVD!

Brian B.