Award-winning child star from New Zealand coming to Saffron Walden

Young star, Julian Dennison, in the Hunt of the Wilderpeople.

Young star, Julian Dennison, in the Hunt of the Wilderpeople. - Credit: Archant

A 12-year-old upcoming star from New Zealand will be visiting his family in Saffron Walden to see the premier of his new film this month.

Julian Dennison may only be only 12-years-old, but he has already won a New Zealand Film Award in 2013, been in the Oscar-nominated short film Two Cars, One Night, and shot to fame with his 2012 film Boy.

His latest film, The Hunt for the Wilderpeople, is a comedy about a problem child who runs away from home into the mountains when he is told he will be moved away from the foster family he loves.

His soon to be ex-guardian manages to catch up with him, before a mishap strands them both, and leads child-services to believe he has kidnapped the boy.

It is directed by Taika Waititi, who is directing the newest Thor film coming out in 2017.

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Julian was already coming over to the UK for the film premiere, but asked the production company to let him stay a few extra days while in the country to allow him to stay with his cousin, Viliami Mila, who moved from New Zealand 18 years ago and now lives in Ickleton with his family.

So on September 20 he will be here with his mother and father, Maybelle and Wayne, to see the sights in Cambridge, Saffron Walden and London - but the young actor is already widely travelled for his age, having visited China, America, and now the UK on the back of his movie premieres.

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Sarah Mila, Viliami’s wife and Julians cousin in law, who will help to host the up-and-coming film star, said: “He’s is a lovely boy, what you see is what you get and he’s down to earth. We’re very proud of what he’s achieved and the other kids can look up to that and see that you can succeed.”

Their family is “huge”, she added, but they don’t get to meet up much because of the distance.

Julian and his twin, Christain, both go to an Anglican school but his mother also tutors Julian while they are on set.

The film will be shown at the Saffron Screen at 8pm Tuesday October 25, 3pm on Wednesday October 26, and 8pm on Wednesday October 26.

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