'The Samoan Spike Lee': Kiwi hip-hop flick Dawn Raid is a directing dream come true for Oscar Kightley

Kiwi acting legend Oscar Kightley set a five-year goal to direct his own film when he was 23 and while it took a little longer than expected, it's totally worth the wait, according to Newshub's Kate Rodger. 

Nearly three decades on from where his dream began, Kightley made it to the director's seat to bring to the big screen the story of Dawn Raid Entertainment - Aotearoa's first ever hip-hop record label, founded by Brotha D and Andy Murnane.

"It's always been a dream, and I think when I was 23 I set it as a five-year goal, and every five years I had to keep pushing it, and now here we are 27 years later," Kightley told Newshub. 

He may have ticked a huge thing off his personal bucket list, but Kightley says "the coolest thing" about directing Dawn Raid was showcasing the journey of the high school mates who changed Aotearoa's hip-hop scene with their vision. 

"We're not very good at celebrating our people, we usually wait till they die... that's our way in New Zealand," Kightley said. 

"I think they're amazing." 

The feeling is mutual - with Murnane revealing Brotha D dubbing the bro'Town star 'The Samoan Spike Lee'. 

"All I know about Oscar is that every time I stand beside him, I feel cool," Brotha D said. 

Kightley's directorial debut has already earned itself some famous fans, with former Prime Minister Helen Clark encouraging everyone to go and see the "important film about the flowering of music on the Southside". 

Meanwhile, Kiwi music stars Benee, Che Fu, P-Money, Church & AP, Ladi6 and JessB turned out for the New Zealand premiere in Auckland's Manukau on Tuesday night, ahead of the film's cinema release on Thursday.