June 03, 2015
Maori film festival bug spreads
It started with a single screen in Wairoa, and now it’s going global.
The 10th annual Wairoa Maori Film Festival at the weekend included the launch of a World Maori Film Festival Congress, bringing together partner events in Rarotonga, New York, Sydney, Tahiti, Hawaii.
The Wairoa festival team is working with former Wairoa mayor Derek Fox and Jaewynn McKay of Woven Pacific to put on the Rarotonga Maori Film Festival in the Cook Islands later this year as part of the 50th Anniversary of Cook Islands Independence.
It's also working with Sarah Smith of Mokoism on a New York Maori Film Festival, which could include an opening gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Sydney event will the third Maori film festival to be hosted by Brent Reihana and Riika Lintola of the Sydney Maori Business Network.
Associate festivals include Queensland’s SOLID SCREEN festival on films by indigenous wahine, the T-Tahiti Maori to Maohi film festival in French Polynesia, and the annual Aotearoa NZ Film at the Honolulu Museum of Art in Hawaii.
The success of the Wairoa festival is also drawing filmmakers to the northern Hawkes Bay town.
Stark Raving, a production house associated with Hong Kong’s Shaw Group of film studios, is looking to set up in Wairoa’s refurbished Gaiety Cinema, including full post-production facilities.
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