Topic: Entertainment

World Māori Film Festival Congress launched in Wairoa

updated By Piripi Taylor
  • North Island: East Coast
Wairoa Māori Film Festival - Photo / file

The Wairoa Māori Film Festival is broadening its horizon internationally with the launch of Hawaiiki Hōu: The World Māori Film Festival Congress.

Former Wairoa Mayor Derek Fox announced the establishment of the Congress at the Gala Awards Dinner held at the Gaiety Cinema, as part of the 10th annual Wairoa Māori Film Festival over the weekend.

The newly established Congress will connect cinematic art events in Nuhaka, Wairoa & Auckland with the third Sydney Māori Film Festival later this year, the SOLID SCREEN Screen Arts festival hosted out of Cairns, the Aotearoa NZ Film Festival held annually at the Honolulu Museum of Art in Hawaii and the T-Tahiti film festival next year. Māori film festivals are also being planned in Rarotonga and New York City.

Events that are founder members of this network are:

Wairoa Māori Film Festival, a premiere signature Māori event hosted in Nuhaka and Wairoa annually by Te Roopu Whakaata Māori I Te Wairoa Inc.  Sponsors include New Zealand Film Commission, Wairoa District Council and Te Matarae O Te Wairoa Trust.

Rarotonga Māori Film Festival: Wairoa Māori Film Festival is working together with Derek Fox and Jaewynn McKay of Woven Pacific.  The Rarotonga Māori Film Festival will occur in the Cook Islands later this year as part of the 50th Anniversary of Cook Islands Independence, hosted by Aotearoa House.

Sydney Māori Film Festival, to occur in Sydney later this year.  Hosted by Brent Reihana and Riika Lintola of the Sydney Māori Business Network, this is the third Māori Film Festival to be hosted in Sydney, Australia, by this group.

New York Māori Film Festival: Wairoa Maori Film Festival is working together with Sarah Smith of Mokoism to launch a joint venture New York Māori Film Festival for late 2015. Event partners are in discussions with the Metropolitan Museum of Art to host the Opening Gala for the New York Maori Film Festival, with a delegation of Māori film makers in attendance.

Representatives of three associate members of the World Māori Film Festival Congress were present and talked of their festival events which will share indigenous film content, including Māori, Hawaiian and Aboriginal Australian.

Jenny Fraser spoke of the SOLID SCREEN Screen Arts festival held in Innot Hot Springs, Queensland, and hosted out of Cairns, Australia. SOLID SCREEN hosted a gathering of global indigenous wahine in 2014, including Hiona Henare, film maker and member of the Wairoa Māori Film Festival Board.

Lennie Hill spoke of the T-Tahiti Māori to Māohi film festival, founded by himself and Tiairani Drollet LeCaill of Tahiti.  T-Tahiti sponsored two Tahitian film makers to be in attendance at the Wairoa Māori Film Festival, and sponsored the T-Tahiti Wairoa prize that will see Tim Worrall, director of "Tits on a Bull" flying business class to Tahiti next year to the T-Tahiti film festival.

Louisa Tipene Opetaia spoke of the Aotearoa NZ Film Festival held annually at the Honolulu Museum of Art in Hawaii.  Each year, NZ films are screened at the museum, including a selection of short films curated by the Wairoa Māori Film Festival.