Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a 2016 New Zealand adventure comedy-drama film written and directed by Taika Waititi who co-produced with Carthew Neal, Leanne Saunders and Matt Noonan and co-starred as the Minister, based on the book Wild Pork and Watercress by Barry Crump and stars Sam Neill and Julian Dennison with supporting roles done by Rhys Darby, Rima Te Wiata, Rachel House, Oscar Kightley, Tioreore Ngatai-Melbourne, Troy Kingi, Cohen Holloway, Stan Walker, Mike Minogue, Hamish Parkinson and Lloyd Scott. The film premiered In Competition at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival on 22 January 2016. The film opened New Zealand wide on 31 March 2016, becoming the highest-grossing locally-produced film of all time, as well as setting box office records for highest-grossing opening weekend and highest-grossing first week.
Ricky Baker (Dennison), a defiant young city kid, is sent by child welfare services to live in the country with foster aunt Bella and cantankerous foster uncle Hec (Neill). When Bella suddenly passes away and child services decide to take Ricky back to a care home, Ricky runs away into the bush with uncle Hec in pursuit. Child services arrive to find the house empty, and come to the conclusion a bereaved and mentally unstable Hec has abducted Ricky. A national manhunt ensues, and the two have to get over their differences to survive.