‘Uproar’ Trailer: Julian Dennison Stars In New Zealand Coming-Of-Age Comedy Debuting At TIFF

Following his 2013 religious comedy Rapture-Palooza, director Paul Middleditch is going in a more personal route. Debuting this year at TIFF is his latest film, Uproar, which stars Deadpool 2 and Hunt for the Wilderpeople favorite Julian Dennison in a story that draws from the director’s childhood in New South Wales, Australia.

Dennison stars as Josh Waaka, a 17-year-old misfit growing up in 1981 New Zealand. As he struggles to discover who he is, protests break out as the Springboks rugby team, which represents Apartheid-era South Africa, tours New Zealand, forcing Josh to take stock of his heritage and make a profound choice.

Middleditch directed and co-wrote the screenplay with Maori filmmaker Hamish Bennett. The cast is pretty good, too, with Minnie Driver, Mark Mitchinson, and Rhys Darby joining Dennison.

Here’s the synopsis: In New Zealand, 1981, Josh Waaka is a 17-year-old square peg in the round, rugby-obsessed hole that is St Gilbert’s College. Meanwhile, the Springboks rugby team, representing Apartheid-era South Africa, are touring New Zealand, sparking nationwide protests and dividing the country. Josh’s newfound passion for acting, as well as a greater awareness of his Māori heritage, sends him tumbling headlong into conflict where he is forced to either conform or stand up for himself, his whānau (family) and his future. Uproar is the funny and heartwarming story of a young man’s battle to find his true voice, set against the volatile backdrop of New Zealand’s fight for its national identity.

Check out the Uproar trailer below, courtesy of ThePlaylist.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.