Regional | Māoriland Film Festival

Māoriland Film Festival kicks off during Matariki

The Māorliand Film Festival is officially underway for its ninth time, and for the first time is being presented over Matariki.

The festival will present over 100 films from more than 130 Indigenous nations, with this year's theme "He pitomata He Pito Ora" - the potential of life.

Festival director Libby Hakaraia (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Te Ātiawa says the films being shown to festival goers until July 3, are incredible.

“Māori filmmakers have been busy but so have iwi taketake across the indigenous world so we’ve got a really amazing programme this year,” Hakaraia says.

Hosted in Otaki at the Te Wānanga o Raukawa Campus, a special event today will see He Waiora - the world premiere of the Ngā Pakiaka Incubator Programme. This programme shows eight rangatahi filmmakers, from Ōtaki up to Te Kao, putting them in the director's hot seat for their first short films.

As well as the Lion King Reo Māori (which will be shown to audiences), another animated film to be translated into te reo Māori is the 2019 movie Astro Kid, titled Tama Kaiātea.

“We’ve reversioned it using the voices of our hapori and our mātanga reo at Te Wānanga o Raukawa to put our mita Māori into a kiriata for all the whānau,” Hakaraia says.

Other films around the world include Tote Abuelo (Grandfather), a film that depicts Mexican life across generations, and the best emerging film at the Vancouver International Film Festival 2021, Portraits From a Fire.