Film festival to help promote Wairoa at home and overseas

Indigenous cinema, a pop up art gallery, a filmmaking workshop and a gala evening are all part of the 14th Wairoa Maori Film Festival over Queen’s Birthday Weekend.

The film festival’s organisers are excited about how Wairoa has uplifted itself to the national stage, says festival director Leo Koziol.

“We were at the Wairoa showcase in Parliament and want to do all we can to promote Wairoa, both here and internationally. We have also responded to the Giblin Group’s Economic Development Report Whakarauora-The Regeneration of Long Water, which states that Wairoa needs a community art gallery.”

This year’s festival includes the Tatau Tatau pop up art gallery, which will showcase Wairoa artists.

“We hope in a few years it will become a permanent hub for Ngati Kahungunu dreaming, creativity and filmmaking,” said Mr Koziol.

The work of two filmmakers with Wairoa region connections will feature on the screening programme.

Tessa Williams will premiere her short film You Cut Out My Mother Tongue, which tells the story of how her mother ached for the lost knowledge of te reo Maori.

Shane Rangi’s film Die Like A Shark - Me Mate Ururoa tells a personal story of how an ageing fighter’s life falls apart as he refuses to face the end of his once bright career.

A professional actor who has featured in the Narnia trilogy, and Spartacus series, Mr Rangi’s film will screen along with Soldiers Without Guns at the Gaiety Theatre.

Another highlight of the festival is Merata How My Mum Decolonised the Screen, says Mr Koziol.

“We are hoping for whanau of Merata to be there for a very special screening of this film about Merata Mita, a pioneer of Maori cinema.”

All screenings are at Kahungunu Marae from Friday to Sunday.

The gala will be held at the Gaiety on Saturday and films will screen all day at the theatre on Sunday.

The Tatau Tatau Pop Up Gallery will be at Kahungunu Marae all weekend. The programme also features a weaving wananga and mirimiri (massage) at Morere.

Indigenous cinema, a pop up art gallery, a filmmaking workshop and a gala evening are all part of the 14th Wairoa Maori Film Festival over Queen’s Birthday Weekend.

The film festival’s organisers are excited about how Wairoa has uplifted itself to the national stage, says festival director Leo Koziol.

“We were at the Wairoa showcase in Parliament and want to do all we can to promote Wairoa, both here and internationally. We have also responded to the Giblin Group’s Economic Development Report Whakarauora-The Regeneration of Long Water, which states that Wairoa needs a community art gallery.”

This year’s festival includes the Tatau Tatau pop up art gallery, which will showcase Wairoa artists.

“We hope in a few years it will become a permanent hub for Ngati Kahungunu dreaming, creativity and filmmaking,” said Mr Koziol.

The work of two filmmakers with Wairoa region connections will feature on the screening programme.

Tessa Williams will premiere her short film You Cut Out My Mother Tongue, which tells the story of how her mother ached for the lost knowledge of te reo Maori.

Shane Rangi’s film Die Like A Shark - Me Mate Ururoa tells a personal story of how an ageing fighter’s life falls apart as he refuses to face the end of his once bright career.

A professional actor who has featured in the Narnia trilogy, and Spartacus series, Mr Rangi’s film will screen along with Soldiers Without Guns at the Gaiety Theatre.

Another highlight of the festival is Merata How My Mum Decolonised the Screen, says Mr Koziol.

“We are hoping for whanau of Merata to be there for a very special screening of this film about Merata Mita, a pioneer of Maori cinema.”

All screenings are at Kahungunu Marae from Friday to Sunday.

The gala will be held at the Gaiety on Saturday and films will screen all day at the theatre on Sunday.

The Tatau Tatau Pop Up Gallery will be at Kahungunu Marae all weekend. The programme also features a weaving wananga and mirimiri (massage) at Morere.

A powhiri will be held on Friday, May 31, at 11am at Kahungunu Marae.

This will be followed by a hui about making movies in Wairoa, establishing a Wairoa collective and a pitch Wairoa competition.

Wairoa Maori Film Festival’s opening night will feature Mana Wahine short films from 6pm and Pasifika Shorts, aimed at a mature audience, from 8pm.

Screenings will continue at Kahungunu Marae on June 1. These include Moana Nui a Kiwa shorts, New Voices shorts at 12.30pm and a 2pm special event, In Conversation with Fred Renata — reflections from a master cinematographer.

The festival gala awards night will take place at the Gaiety Theatre on June 1.

Entertainer Fran Kora will perform at the event.

Tickets are available from eventfinda.co.nz.

For the complete festival line up, go to www.kiaora.tv and click on programme.

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