Wairoa Maori Film Awards 2018
Wednesday, 6 June 2018, 11:12 am
Press Release: Wairoa Maori Film Festival
Wairoa Maori Film Awards 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: WEDNESDAY JUNE 6 2018
The Wairoa Maori Film Festival (WMFF) took place at Kahungunu Marae, Nuhaka, and the Gaiety Theatre, Wairoa, this Queen's Birthday weekend.
Special guest speaker was Larry Parr, Kaihautu CEO of Te Mangai Paho. Performances were be Matatini-finalists Te Rerenga Kotuku, BlakBoi from Australia and NRG Rising.
The night began with Te Rerenga Kotuku kapa haka, followed by the world premiere of "Waiora" a new music video by Toni Huata.
Then the awards commenced.
Two new juries were formed in 2018, the Moana Jury to review Pasifika short films and the Whenua Jury to review Maori short films.
The Moana jurors were: Craig Fasi, Ngaire Fuata, Stella Muller and Misa Tupou (Hawaii).
The Whenua jurors were: Aroha Awarau, Michael Bennett, Anahera Higgins and Jani Wilson.
The Moana Awards were presented to:
MOANA BEST MALE ACTOR: Isaac Ligsay - Ka Piko (young man )
MOANA BEST FEMALE ACTOR PRIZE: Ruita Purea - A Boy from Rarotonga (as the grandmother)
MOANA BEST FILM : My Friend Michael Jones, Directors Samson Rambo & Ian Leaupepe
Samson Rambo and "Michael Jones" lead Villa Junior Lemanu were present to accept the Moana Best Film Prize. Isaac Ligsay sent a video message from Hawaii.
The Whenua Awards were presented to:
WHENUA BEST MALE ACTOR PRIZE : Eds Eramiha, - Meke (Sonny, the boxer)
WHENUA BEST FEMALE ACTOR PRIZE: Miriama McDowell - Mouse
WHENUA BEST FILM : Puoro - Komako Silver
Tim Worrall, the director of "Meke," was present to accept the award on behalf of Eds Eramiha.
Lani-Rain Felton, the director of "Mouse" was present to accept the award on behalf of Miriama McDowell.
Three premiere prizes were present to women of renown in the NZ film industry.
A new award was established, the Whakapapa Film Festival of Italy Prize. This new prize includes return airfare from NZ to Italy, accommodation and food for the period 1 to 8 July in Irsina - a medieval hilltop town in Southern Italy, and the opportunity to participate and network at this new film festival. Irsina and Matera are European Capital of Culture in 2019.
The inaugural Whakapapa Film Festival of Italy Prize was presented to Renae Maihi.
The award was presented to Renae Maihi by Mayor Meng Foon of Gisborne.
Since completing a Bachelor of Performing Arts degree at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, Renae Maihi has become an acclaimed director and writer of theatre, starting with Ngā Manurere, starring Keisha Castle-Hughes. The NZ Herald called it the "surprise jewel" of 2009. Maihi went on to co-write short film Redemption, which was invited to the Berlin and Sundance film festivals, then directed her debut short Butterfly. The 2017 NZ International Film Festival features two of her films: the New York-shot short Mannahatta, and collaborative feature Waru, where she was part of a team of eight female directors. (NZ On Screen)
The second annual Pacific Islanders in Film & Television (PIFT) Mana Pasifika Award was presented to Sima Urale.
The award was presented by Whetu Fala.
Sima Urale, Samoa’s first female filmmaker, has brought touching stories of Pacific peoples to the screen, often from an NZ outsider’s point of view. Urale credits her film success to determination and dealing with social issues close to her heart. Her lauded shorts (O Tamaiti, Still Life) were followed by her 2008 feature debut Apron Strings. Urale has also spent time as head tutor at Wellington's NZ Film and Television School. (NZ On Screen)
The seventh annual Women in Film & Television (WIFT) Mana Wahine Award was presented to Ainsley Gardiner.
The award was presented by Erina Tamepo and Christina Asher of Nga Aho Whakaari, preceded by guest speaker Larry Parr who mentored Ainsley when she commenced her career in the 1990s and 2000s.
Ainsley Gardiner has produced shorts, feature films and television shows. In 2004 she established Whenua Films with actor Cliff Curtis, to promote indigenous story-telling on screen. After working on two award-winning shorts with Taika Waititi, she co-produced his first two features, Eagle vs Shark and breakout hit Boy. Gardiner has also worked as a producer on variety show Happy Hour and new 2018 feature The Breaker Upperers. (NZ On Screen)
On June 4, it was announced that Larry Parr and Ainsley Gardiner were recipients of Queen's honours, Ainsley received MNZM and Larry received ONZM.
The three final awards of the night:
- Te Wairoa Award for Contribution to Media
- WMFF International Indigenous Award
- Mana Wairoa Grand Prize for Advancement of Indigenous Rights
The Te Wairoa Award was presented to former Wairoa College music teacher Mary Stubbings. Mary had supported dozens of young students at Wairoa College over the years in their musical aspirations. Her students competed in X Factor, NZ Idol, Smokefree Pasifika Beats and Smoke Free Rock Quest. A group of former students, lead by Kingi Gilbert, sang a "Wairoa All Stars" medley to honour their former teacher.
The Te Wairoa Award was presented by Mayor Craig Little of Wairoa.