Women in Film & Television (WIFT) NZ and the Wairoa Māori Film Festival Inc. are proud to announce the 2015 WIFT NZ Mana Wahine Award recipient is one of New Zealand's most exciting newer producers, Chelsea Winstanley (Ngati Ranginui).

The award will be presented at the Gala Festival Awards at the iconic Gaiety Theatre, Wairoa, on Saturday May 30.

The 2009 recipient of the Woman to Watch Award at the WIFT Film and Television Awards, Chelsea has produced and directed feature films, television, documentaries and short films since, receiving many international awards and accolades along the way.

With Taika Waititi and Emanuel Michael, Chelsea produced the multi award-winning mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows, which has played at prestigious international film festivals, notably Toronto (winner of the People's Choice award) Sundance and Berlin.  The film currently holds the number one slot on the comedy and horror charts on US iTunes after a limited, highly successful self-funded cinema release in the US.  Together with Taika Waititi, Chelsea was responsible for distributing the film both within New Zealand and internationally, with remarkable innovation and results.

The judging panel selected Chelsea for the quality and success of her body of work so far and for her professionalism, integrity and willingness to take risks.  As a young Māori woman and mother of two, she is leading the way for other up-and-coming Māori women screen practitioners, with her example of a fearless approach to the international market for Māori storytelling.

She has been an executive board member of Nga Aho Whakaari (Māori in Screen) and was on the WIFT Auckland Governance Board.

Tickets for the Awards Gala and Film Festival can be booked at Eventfinder - Gala Awards $80. Full and Festival Pass including Gala $225


The Wairoa Māori Film Festival this year has 28 screenings with 62 shorts, six documentaries and five features. Screenings are held in Kahungunu Marae, Nuhaka, famed for featuring in scenes from John O'Shea's BROKEN BARRIER in 1955. For the first time since 2009, the festival will also be at the reopened Gaiety Theatre in Wairoa. Guests in attendance include international film makers from Tahiti and Australia. For the first time, the festival is hosting the premiere of a feature film, UMBRELLA MAN, by Lennie Hill, screening on opening night and at the Gaiety Theatre in Wairoa. A selection of the Māori and Pasifika short films screening at the festival will go on to comprise the New Zealand International Film Festival Ngā Whanaunga programme which will premiere in Auckland later this year. The Māori Film Awards Gaiety Grand Gala will include presentation of a number of awards, including the WIFT Mana Wahine Award, and a special "Native Now!" multimedia showcase with works by Charlotte Graham, Marta Szymanska, Rosanna Raymond, Mika and Lisa Reihana. Special presentations include a 4th cinema academic panel, a "Māori new wave" micro budget film making panel, a special screening of CONFESSIONS OF PRISONER T with director Michael Bennett and private investigator Tim McKinnell, and the first NZ screening of Jason Momoa's ROAD TO PALOMA. Closing night is "Bush Cinema" underground shorts at Morere hot springs, with the pools open late into the night. The Wairoa Māori Film Festival is sponsored by the New Zealand Film Commission, Te Matarae O Te Wairoa Trust and Wairoa District Council. The entire programme can be viewed online at: www.kiaora.tv



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