Posted Monday 28 Nov 2022
How fantastic to see WIFT members' work among the main winners at the Hawai'i International Film Festival Awards (HIFF) this month!
Whina, directed by James Napier Robertson and Paula Whetu Jones, who also co-wrote the script, received the Pasifika Award for Best Feature Film. Whina charts the tumultuous journey and unshakeable inner strength that led Dame Whina Cooper to become one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most formidable leaders. The jury called it a "fantastic story" and said "The performance of the different Whinas is breathtaking; it is a film of undeniable quality in the direction, writing and acting”.
And Kāinga, produced by Kerry Warkia, and featuring WIFT members Asuka Sylvie, Julie Zhu, Michelle Ang and Yamin Tun on the writing team, received the Network for the Promotion of Asian-Pacific Cinema (NETPAC) Award, and also received a special mention in the Pasifika Award category for Best Feature Film.
Kerry was the recipient of this year's Leanne K. Ferrer Trailblazer Award presented by Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC) at HIFF, given to a creative content luminary of Pacific Islander descent.
Kāinga tells eight stories by eight Pan-Asian filmmakers, of the lives of eight Asian women. Each filmed in a single-shot, the shorts in the anthology span over 50 years, connected by the same location – a house – to explore themes of loss, belonging and home.
It premiered at the NZIFF in August, and is the third in Warkia's trio of 'portmanteau' films which also include Vai and Waru.
Image: Mikasa from Kāinga