Yes, the Wairoa Māori Film Festival is going ahead!

Posted Wednesday 10 Jun 2020

Yes, the Wairoa Māori Film Festival is going ahead!

Fans of Māori film from across Aotearoa will gather once more this Labour Weekend for the 15th annual Wairoa Māori Film Festival. Postponed from Queen's Birthday weekend, the marae-based film festival will now be able to take place as our country moves to Covid-19 alert Level One.

The tenth annual WIFT Mana Wahine Award will also be presented at the Festival. Past recipients of this award include Katie Wolfe, Ella Henry, Keri Kaa, Kay Ellmers, Chelsea Winstanley, Christina Asher, Ainsley Gardiner and Whetu Fala. Rachel House and the late Nancy Brunning were shared recipients of this prize in 2016.There will be a strong focus on Mana Wahine film making too. Confirmed films in this year's programme include award-winning documentary Ruahine by Hiona Henare, and LGBT-themed feature drama Same But Different directed by Nikki Si'ulepa and produced by Rachel Wills.

Over fifty short films, documentaries and feature films have already been selected for the 2020 Wairoa Māori Film Festival."With five months to go... expectations are high," says Festival Director Leo Koziol. "We hope to include the stunning Gaiety Theatre once again in our festival programme, in particular highlighting the new digital hub being developed in the town as part of the Regional Growth Fund range of projects." Alongside the Wairoa Māori Film Festival in October, the festival organisation is also curating short films for the Auckland Matariki festival, curating with Craig Fasi (Pollywood) the Nga Whanaunga shorts programme of NZIFF, and launching a new promotional platform CineMāori to promote Māori films and film-makers online in this age of Covid-19.

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Anahera Winiata and her moko kauae in a still from Ruahine