The Filmcraziest Show – Kiel McNaughton, for The Legend of Baron To’a (2020)

On this episode of The Filmcraziest Show, I was joined by New Zealand director Kiel McNaughton to talk about his newest film The Legend of Baron To’a, which was released On Demand on December 3 (here are some places you can rent it).

The plot: Fritz (Uli Latukefu) is a young Tongan man grappling with the legacy of his wrestling superstar father Baron To’a (John Tui), both metaphorically and literally following in his deceased father’s footsteps by fighting for the return of his dad’s stolen championship belt. The film is directed by Kiel McNaughton, written by John Argall and Owen Black. It also stars Nathaniel Lees, Jay Laga’aia, Duane Evans Jr. and Ray Liufau. (Here’s my review of the film out of the Fantasia Film Festival.)

Baron To'a screenshot
Kiel McNaughton (left) and Daniel Prinn (right) on The Filmcraziest Show.

In this episode, we talk about the film being largely compromised of actors and crew from the Tongan community; the setting of the film on the cul-de-sac; the action and stunt work in the film, especially with the wrestling and everyone’s fighting styles. We also talk about how the team helped make this spec script into something more special, incorporating the heart of the film with its culture; as well as the challenge of finding a villain that was taller than the 6-foot-6 Uli Latukefu, and much more.

You can listen to the episode below or download it here.

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