Posted Wednesday 29 May 2013

Representatives from Women in Film & Television (WIFT) NZ and the Wairoa Maori Film Festival Inc. are proud to announce that the WIFT Mana Wahine Award will be presented to Keri Kaa at this weekend's Gala Festival Awards.

Keri Kaa personifies the concept of Mana Wahine and has worked tirelessly, diligently and with vision to support and promote Maori Culture, Te Reo Maori, Tikanga Maori and the Welfare and Stories of Aoteroa Wahine by supporting filmmakers, Maori Women Television-makers, Maori Women Script-writers and Maori Women Actors in Film and TV.

On top of her work in education, publishing and acting and advising in theatre and television she was brought into the film industry by the late Jim Booth in the 1980's where she worked as a consultant to the Film Commission (NZFC) and later, on the Board of the newly formed Short Film Fund. She used her position to encourage policy makers to create a pathway for Maori filmmakers to tell their stories. As a trustee of the Te Manuka Trust representing the NZFC, she was an instrumental visionary in the ground breaking E Tipu E Rea series of short films which brought together, under producer Larry Parr, Maori  writers, directors actors and crew - Lee Tamahori, Riwia Brown, Don Selwyn, Rawiri Paratene, Temuera Morrison, Joanna Paul, Wi Kuki Kaa, Patricia Grace, Hone Tuwhare and Bruce Stewart. With a kaupapa of  Maori in key creative roles and as many behind the crew as possible, the Trust blazed a trail for Maori filmmaking and filmmakers.

Change did not happen overnight but her persistence, practicality and straight talking contributed not just to many films and filmmakers but to the pivotal force behind the development of the Te Manu Aute collective (fore-runner of Nga Aho Whakaari).

In addition to her support for the development of Maori filmmakers, Keri's long-term and on-going practical and moral support for women filmmakers generally, makes her the ideal candidate for a WIFT Mana Wahine Award at Wairoa in 2013.

SEE FULL FESTIVAL DETAILS AT: www.manawairoa.com