Universal Sets Release Date for New Zealand Hip-Hop Doc ‘Dawn Raid’


Dawn Raid, the well-regarded documentary about the eponymous New Zealand hip-hop label that grew from humble beginnings to achieve global notoriety, has secured a U.S. release.

Universal Pictures is making Oscar Kightley’s feature-length doc available to rent or own on all major platforms in the U.S. from Jan. 11. The film was given a theatrical release in Australia and New Zealand earlier this year.

The film tells the story of South Auckland friends Andy Murnane and Tanielu ‘Brotha D’ Leaosavai’i who went from selling bootleg merch to building Dawn Raid Entertainment, a sprawling media empire that put Kiwi, and particularly Polynesian, hip-hop on the map in the early 2000s.

The label pushed homegrown artists like Savage, Adeaze and The Deceptikonz and collaborated and worked with the likes of Pitbull and Soulja Boy. The success was not to last as debts, internal strife and acrimony led to the label falling from lofty heights.

Talking heads in the doc include Judd Apatow, who used Dawn Raid music in his film Knocked Up, Savage, Mareko, Adeaze and Aaradhna, and the film includes exclusive archive footage of Akon, Wu-Tang Clan and other hip-hop legends.

Dawn Raid was produced by GFC Films in association with the New Zealand Film Commission.


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