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NZ film receives standing ovation
Actors Eka Darville and Healesville Joel attend the Mr. Pip premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Picture: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

New Zealand feature film Mr Pip has received a standing ovation at its premiere in the special presentation section of the Toronto International Film Festival.

Hugh Laurie, the star of the award-winning television series House, plays Mr Watts, a teacher on the war-torn island of Bougainville who reads children Great Expectations.

The novel written by New Zealander Lloyd Jones was short-listed for the Booker Prize.

The film is the first independent feature project of Andrew Adamson, the New Zealand filmmaker who directed the Shrek films and wrote, directed and produced The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

"Anyone who has read the novel knows what a stunning story this is," Laurie told TVNZ at the festival.

Adamson said it was "story about the power of story".

While promoting the movie, Adamson revealed he grew up in Papua New Guinea.