Close Ups on NZ Film History
"The first big dramatic work filmed and acted in the land of the Moa," was Hinemoa (1914), New Zealand's first feature.
On a budget of £50, George Tarr directed Hinemoa over eight hectic days in Rotorua. Hera Tawhai and her husband Rua starred along with the Rev. Bennett's Maori Choir Party. With the film almost complete but the budget gone, George Tarr headed to Auckland to show it to his investors and distributor Mr Hayward. They loved it.
Hayward wanted to show it immediately on "the same terms as I'm paying for Antony and Cleopatra".
Hinemoa premiered in the first week of World War 1 and did big business. Sadly nothing survives of the rival of Antony and Cleopatra.