Film plays in Toronto’s CWC programme.

New Zealand has entered White Lies (Tuakiri Huna) for the foreign-language Oscar race.

Dana Rotberg writes and directs the Maori-language feature.

It is produced by Whale Rider producer John Barnett and is based on a novella by Whale Rider author Witi Ihimaera.

White Lies is being presented this week at the Toronto International Film Festival in the Contemporary World Cinema selection.

Graeme Mason, New Zealand Film Commission chief executive, said: “White Lies is a beautiful film with powerful themes and strong female characters, set in Maori culture.

“We are incredibly proud that this is the second time that New Zealand has submitted a film for consideration for the Foreign Language Film category of the Academy Awards, the first being The Orator two years ago.”

Rotberg was born in Mexico but lives in New Zealand.

The film stars Antonia Prebble, Rachel House and Māori recording artist Whirimako Black.

White Lies is produced by South Pacific Pictures and financed by the New Zealand Film Commission and in association with NZ On Air.

The Film Sales Company handles international rights.