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12,000 Miles – A Kiwi piping journey – RNZPBA

A spellbinding expose into the journey New Zealand bagpipers and drummers take to compete on the world stage is the focus of the ‘12,000 Miles’ documentary, premiering Thursday night in New Zealand, the Royal New Zealand Pipe Bands’ Association is pleased to announce.

The documentary follows four Kiwi pipe bands that travelled to the 2023 World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow – Auckland and District, Canterbury Caledonian Society, Manawatu Scottish, and St Andrew’s College – from the very start of their campaigns right through to the competition at Glasgow Green. Showcasing the true Antipodean flavour of New Zealand pipe banding, Kiwis from all walks of life show what it takes to travel the 12,000 miles (18,000km) each year to pit themselves against the best in the business.

“Kiwi pipers and drummers punch well above their weight on the world stage. This documentary showcases the diversity, determination, talent and skill that the pipe band movement embodies, at a time where bagpiping and drumming in New Zealand is going through a renaissance,” RNZPBA President Iain Blakeley says.

“12,000 Miles captures all the moments, the emotions and everything in between on the journey to represent us on the world stage. Quintessentially ‘Kiwi’ at times, the documentary establishes for the world our special sub-culture that exists down-under of this much-loved traditional art form.

Directed by New Zealand journalist, content creator and digital storyteller John Sellwood and supported by the RNZPBA and others in the film industry, 12,000 Miles has been a community effort.

“We hope this inspires the next generation of Kiwi pipers and drummers to not only take up the pipes and drums, but to aspire to be world-beaters like our top bands are. There are endless opportunities in playing the bagpipes and drums that just don’t exist as readily in other hobbies and pursuits. As the documentary shows, regardless of who you are, where you come from or what situation you find yourself in, piping and drumming is for everyone.

“From passion and resilience, through to precision, discipline, birls, paradiddles and everything in between, 12,000 Miles will no doubt be etched into the pipe band diaspora for generations to come,” Mr Blakeley says.

 

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