Paul Middleditch’s fifth feature film, the dramatic comedy "Uproar" received a standing ovation at the recent Toronto Film Festival and will be opening in theatres across the U.S. this Friday, March 15th. Starring Julian Dennison, who was the lead in "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" (2016), the highest-grossing New Zealand film in history, "Uproar" is a rousing coming-of-age story about Josh Waaka, an awkward young New Zealander of mixed Maori and English parentage, played by Dennison, who comes into his own during protests against apartheid and racism in the 1980s. The film costars Minnie Driver as Josh’s mom and Rhys Darby as his teacher. Widely praised by critics and audiences, "Uproar" boasts a rare rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvxCd_aTC1E

Loosely based on Middleditch’s experience growing up in New Zealand as a self-described outsider with self-esteem issues, and a high school rugby player, Uproar highlights the intersection between sports and politics and indigenous rights.

“The film has a perspective on topics that are culturally significant in New Zealand, and that also resonate around the world,” said Middleditch. “And as a filmmaker, in partnership with Maori advisers who worked on the film with me, I was able to stand outside of it and create a universal view of what is essentially a very personal situation. It’s a crowd-pleasing film and that’s why it is doing something that is rare for films these days, opening theatrically in the U.S. and just about everywhere else.”

Renowned for his sense of humor, cinematographer’s eye, and his ability to inspire compelling performances from his actors, Middleditch is one of the most prolific and successful commercial directors in the world and is represented for spots by the global production and entertainment company Merman. Having directed over three hundred commercials, Middleditch’s distinctive brand of comedy and cinematic filmmaking has earned him eight Cannes Lions, four of which are gold, and numerous international and national awards. He was ranked 8th Best Commercial Director of all time by Lüzer's Archive and has continually upheld a Number One Director World Ranking on “Best Ads on TV,” with Carlton Draught's “Big Ad” being awarded the “Best Beer Ad of All Time.“ His work has been featured at the Super Bowl for six consecutive years.

“I started my career making short films,” said Middleditch. “My beginnings were in filmmaking and music videos, and when people saw my music videos they started hiring me to do commercials. I’ve since been able to go back and forth between directing films and commercials. It’s all filmmaking in the end, it’s all storytelling. There are some directors who only make one feature film a year or maybe in two years, and that’s it. Making commercials in between features keeps me in shape. I could never have made the movies I’ve made so successfully without doing what I do in commercials.”

At the age of 19, Middleditch's first short film "Light of the Blade" won Best Direction at the Clermont-Ferrand International Film Festival. His first feature film, "Terra Nova," won the first film prize in Montreal in 1999, won Best of Festival at the Edinburgh Film Festival and went on to screen at over thirty festivals worldwide. His second feature, "A Cold Summer," premiered in competition at the Rotterdam Film Festival and earned him an Australian Film Institute nomination for Best Director. In 2009, Middleditch completed his third feature, "Separation City," a dramatic comedy starring Joel Edgerton, Rhona Mitra, and Thomas Kretschmann, which was nominated for 4 QANTAS Awards. His first American feature film for Lionsgate, "Rapture Palooza" was released in 2013, starring Anna Kendrick and Craig Robinson.

Powerful Coming Of Age Feature Directed By Paul Middleditch Opens This Week
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