March 25, 2019
Different accents share wonder at Māoriland films
The spirit of the late Merata Mita was felt like a blessing on this year's Māoriland Film Festival.
Festival co-director Tainui Stephens says Ōtaki came alive with the gathering of like minds, including film screenings, talks, workshops, and even carving, healing and tattooing sessions.
Merata Mita's daughter Awatea and son Hepi opened the festival with a tribute address in the church Rangiātea about their mother's vision of indigenous filmmaking, and there was a screening of a documentary about her life on the Friday.
That was followed by an extended question and answer session.
"And that was the point of the Q&A, it's not just asking questions of the filmmakers but it's about having a discussion in the community about whatever the issues were in the film and I stood back and looked at this packed house and people just talking about the issues they had seen and it was just that simple act of communicating and in different accents, because we had so many people from so many countries, to hear these different accents in our community talking about matters of joint interest, it was a wonderful thing," Mr Stephens says.
Awa by a Kerikeri collective won the 72 hour film slam challenge.
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