Issue date: 
Thursday, 2 November 2023

Production on a new local feature film based on the Pike River mine tragedy of 2010 has commenced in Māwhera, Greymouth. Directed by Rob Sarkies (Out of the Blue, Consent: The Louise Nicholas Story, Scarfies), and working in close collaboration with members of the Pike River families, the film captures the profound impact on the community of one of the worst mining disasters in Aotearoa New Zealand’s history.

Written by Fiona Samuel (Consent, Piece of My Heart, Bliss), the film follows the aftermath of the Pike River mine explosion on November 19, 2010 — which tragically killed twenty-nine men. The feature looks to tell the story of the Pike families who took on a thirteen-year battle for justice and accountability, shining a light on what can be achieved when ordinary people band together, choose to stand up, and fight for what they believe.

Director Rob Sarkies comments: “It has been a huge privilege to work closely with members of the Pike River families over the last five years as we prepare to share their story with Aotearoa New Zealand, and the rest of the world. We need films like this in the world to show what is possible when individuals take a stand against injustice. Ordinary people fighting against power, doing it in their own way, and having an impact.”

Casting for the film will be announced at a later date.

Pike River is produced by Vicky Pope (Savage, Went Up The Hill, Gardening with Soul) with Executive Producers Paul Gough, James Dean and Rob Sarkies. Madman will distribute theatrically in New Zealand and Australia, with Signature Entertainment UK handling international sales. The film will be made in association with the New Zealand Film Commission, NZ On Air, Three, the New Zealand Screen Production Rebate and Park Road Post Production.

Last updated: 
Friday, 3 November 2023