On the east coast of New Zealand, the Whangara people believe their presence there dates back a thousand years or more to a single ancestor, Paikea, who escaped death when his canoe capsized by riding to shore on the back of a whale. From then on, Whangara chiefs, always the first-born, always male, have been considered Paikea's direct descendants. Pai, an 11-year-old girl in a patriarchal New Zealand tribe, believes she is destined to be the new chief. But her grandfather Koro is bound by tradition to pick a male leader. Pai loves Koro more than anyone in the world, but she must fight him and a thousand years of tradition to fulfill her destiny.
- Genre: Drama, Family
- Studio: South Pacific Pictures, Pandora Film, ApolloMedia
- Keyword: ocean, loss of loved one, tradition, grandparent grandchild relationship, becoming an adult, empowerment, new zealand, maori tradition, chief, modern society, whale, patriarch, stick fighting, canoe, patriarchy, magic realism, woman director
- Cast: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rawiri Paratene, Vicky Haughton, Cliff Curtis, Grant Roa, Mana Taumaunu