Mana Wahine Award 2018

Wairoa Maori Film Festival -
Women in Film & Television Mana Wahine Award 2018


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Ainsley Gardiner

30 April 2018

Women in Film & Television (WIFT) NZ and the Wairoa Māori Film Festival Inc. are delighted to announce the 2018 WIFT NZ Mana Wahine Award recipient is the extremely talented Ainsley Gardiner.

The Award will be presented at the Wairoa Māori Gala Film Awards at the iconic Gaiety Theatre, Wairoa, on Saturday June 2.

Ainsley Gardiner (Te Whānau-A-Apanui, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Awa) has a long and impressive body of work and screen industry experience. She graduated from the Avalon Film and TV production course in 1995, going on to intern for Larry Parr at Kahukura Production. Though she wanted to write and direct, she fell into producing, co-producing the 26-part Lovebites series, and short film, The Hole (1998). She went on to produce the ‘low-budget’ feature film Kombi Nation (2003) in Europe.

In 2004 she established Whenua Films with actor Cliff Curtis, to promote indigenous story-telling on screen. They produced Taika Waititi’s award-winning short films, Two Cars One Night (2003), and Tama Tū (2004), then his first two features, Eagle vs Shark (2007), and the incredibly successful Boy (2010). She wrote and directed her first short film Mokopuna in 2007.

At the same time, Ainsley was appointed to Te Paepae Ataata, which was born out of the aspirations of the pioneers Māori film-makers, Barry Barclay, Merata Mita, Tama Poata, Don Selwyn, Tungia Baker and Wi Kuki Kaa, all of whom are now deceased. They set a high standard for creative excellence and Māori integrity. Te Paepae Ataata was set up in 2008 to nurture and celebrate a Māori cinematic voice and to provide an alternative development pathway for Māori filmmakers.

In 2015 Ainsley founded Miss Conception Films with Georgina Conder. Their new production company is focused on female-lead character driven projects with female key creatives, epitomised by their latest film as producers, The Breaker Upperers, premiering this month in New Zealand. Ainsley works hard to mentor emerging filmmakers.

In 2017, Ainsley made her debut as a feature film director, working alongside seven other Māori female directors to make the powerful film Waru, which has won critical acclaim nationally and internationally. She balances all this with being a mother of a young family.

The WIFT Mana Wāhine Award recognises and supports the achievements of Māori Women in film and television who work tirelessly, diligently and with vision to support and promote Māori culture, Te Reo Māori, Tikanga Māori and the welfare and stories of wāhine. The Award was first initiated in 2011 by Wairoa Māori Film Festival director Leo Koziol and his mother Huia Koziol.

Tickets for the Awards Gala and Film Festival can be booked at Eventfinda – Māori Film Awards only $50, Full Festival Pass including Awards $150

Festival Pass:
https://www.eventfinda.co.nz/2018/wairoa-maori-film-festival-2018/wairoa

Gala Tickets:
https://www.eventfinda.co.nz/2018/wairoa-m-ori-film-awards-gala-2018/wairoa

The Wairoa Māori Film Festival this year has 13 screenings with over 50 shorts, and five feature dramas / documentaries. Screenings are held in Kahungunu Marae, Nuhaka, famed for featuring in scenes from John O’Shea’s BROKEN BARRIER in 1955. For the fourth year, the festival will also be at the reopened Gaiety Theatre in Wairoa. Keynote speaker at the Awards Night will be infamous activist and esteemed artist Tame Iti. A selection of the Māori and Pasifika short films screening at the festival will go on to comprise the New Zealand International Film Festival Ngā Whanaunga programme which will premiere in Auckland later this year. Closing night is “Bush Cinema” underground shorts at Morere hot springs, with the pools open late into the night. The Wairoa Māori Film Festival is sponsored by the New Zealand Film Commission, Radio Waatea, Te Matarae O Te Wairoa Trust and Wairoa District Council. The entire programme can now be viewed online at: www.kiaora.tv

For media enquiries please contact Leo Koziol, Festival Director, Wairoa Māori Film Festival, on maorimovies@gmail.com or mob: 027 280 8729

He Wiki Kiriata on Red Carpet TV!

Wairoa Māori Film Festival presents He Wiki Kiriata Māori – Māori Film Week, a celebration of Māori and indigenous cinema and multimedia in central Auckland. This year the theme is Māori Futurism, spread across nine days and seven venues, with over 50 short films, feature dramas and documentaries. He Wiki Kiriata Māori presents a feast of futuristic and fantastic Māori and indigenous art and culture, including Lightbox Art Exhibitions in Freyberg Place and Bledisloe Lane. Kindly supported by Auckland Council.

Maori Film Week

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BEST OF WAIROA MĀORI FILM FESTIVAL TO BE SHOWCASED IN AUCKLAND

MEDIA RELEASE: Thursday, June 21, 2018

The best films from the Wairoa Māori Film Festival will screen at Māori Film Week (June 30 to July 8) and the New Zealand International Film Festival (from July 19) in Auckland.

Māori Film Week – He Wiki Kiriata Māori is a new week-long festival in Auckland showcasing the best of Māori, Pasifika and global indigenous film and arts. “Every year we’ve had people ask if some of the amazing films we screen in Wairoa can play in bigger cities, and this year we’ve responded with the launch of Māori Film Week in Auckland,” says Wairoa Māori Film Festival Director Leo Koziol. “There will be an array of films by award winning Māori and Pasifika film makers this year, with a retrospective of film works by Ainsley Gardiner, Renae Maihi and Sima Urale, who all took away major awards in Wairoa this year.”

Ainsley Gardiner was the recipient of the Women in Film & Television (WIFT) Mana Wāhine Award at the Wairoa Māori Film Festival. Films screening at Māori Film Week by Ainsley Gardiner will be feature films Waru (writer/director) and The Breaker Upperers (producer) and short film Mokopuna (writer/director).

At Wairoa, Renae Maihi was the recipient of the inaugural Whakapapa Film Festival of Italy Award, which includes return travel and a week-long writing retreat in Irsina and Matera, Italy. Irsina and Matera will be the European Capital of Culture in 2019. Films screening at Māori Film Week by Renae Mahi are short films Butterfly and Mannahatta and feature film Waru (writer/director).

Sima Urale was recipient of the Pacific Islanders in Film & Television (PIFT) Mana Pasifika Award at the Wairoa Māori Film Festival. Short films screening at Māori Film Week by Sima Urale are O Tamaiti, Still Life and Coffee and Allah.

There will also be a special presentation of award winning short films during Māori Film Week. ‘Mana Wairoa Shorts’ will include Meke by Tim Worrall (winner of Best Māori Actor to Eds Eramiha), Puoro by Komako Silver (Best Māori Short) and Three Thousand by Asinnajaq (International Indigenous Award).

There will be a special presentation of Waru at Māori Film Week. Waru won the Mana Wairoa Award for Advancement of Indigenous Rights. The board of the Wairoa Māori Film Festival honoured Waru for its advancement of filmmaking by indigenous filmmakers and women filmmakers, and lauded the women behind the film for not shying from a controversial topic – the abuse and victimisation of children in our society. The women of Waru will be profiled in a ‘Women of Waru’ collection of short films by all of the writers and directors of this ground-breaking feature.

Māori Film Week - He Wiki Kiriata Māori is supported by Auckland Council.

Further award winners from the Wairoa Māori Film Festival - will screen at the New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) in mid-July.

Screening in ‘NZ’s Best’ is My Friend Michael Jones by Samson Rambo and Ian Leaupepe. My Friend Michael Jones is a groundbreaking film on the topic of bullying, suicide and LGBT issues in the Pasifika community, and won Best Pasifika Short at the Wairoa festival.

Screening in ‘Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts’ at NZIFF is Mouse and Ka Piko. Directed by Lani-Rain Felton, Mouse won Best Māori Actress to Miriama McDowell. Hawaiian film Ka Piko is directed by Bryson Chun and won Best Pasifika Actor to Isaac Ligsay. ‘Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts’ is curated each year by Wairoa Māori Film Festival director Leo Koziol and Pollywood Film Festival director Craig Fasi.

Māori Film Week takes places June 30 to July 8, with screenings at Ellen Melville Centre, Academy Cinema, TSB Wallace Art Gallery, Lopdell Precinct, Central City Library and Corban Estate Arts Centre. The centrepiece of Māori Film Week will be a three day showcase at Ellen Melville Centre (July 6 to 8), including a free ‘Māori Futurism’ themed concert by Troy Kingi (July 6). The opening night on July 6 will also include a special event launching Māori Film Week onto Auckland’s annual film and arts calendar, officiated by special guest New Zealand Film Commission CEO Annabelle Sheehan.

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MANA WAIROA SHORTS Ellen Melville Centre 4 pm Friday July 6 & 2 pm Saturday July 7

THE BREAKER UPPERERS Academy Cinema 6 pm Saturday July 7

MANA WAHINE SHORTS Ellen Melville Centre 12 pm Sunday July 8

WARU Ellen Melville Centre 4 pm Sunday July 8

WOMEN OF WARU SHORTS TSB Wallace Arts Centre 1 pm & 3 pm, Sunday July 1, Sunday July 8, Sunday July 15

The full programme for Māori Film Week is online at www.kiaora.tv

The NZIFF ‘NZ’s Best’ and ‘Ngā Whanaunga’ programmes are online at:

https://www.nziff.co.nz/2018/auckland/news/new-zealands-best-2018-finalists-announced/

https://www.nziff.co.nz/2018/auckland/nga-whanaunga-maori-pasifika-shorts-2018/

Authorised by: Kaporangi Kiriata Māori Film Arts Trust & Te Roopu Whakaata Māori I Te Wairoa – Wairoa Māori Film Festival Society Inc.

Media Contact: Louisa Tipene Opetaia

louisa@brightsunday.co.nz  

021 438-601

Image: Three Thousand by Asinnajaq

What is Maori Film Week?

Lightboxes and projections across downtown Auckland.

Lightboxes and projections across downtown Auckland.

Announcing the first annual Māori Film Week - He Wiki Kiriata Māori.

 

What is Māori Film Week - He Wiki Kiriata Māori?

There is Māori Language Week and New Zealand Music Month, but until now there hasn't been a week promoting and presenting Maori film.

Māori Film Week makes sense because so many of our biggest movie hits are Māori - films like Boy, Once Were Warriors, and Whale Rider - so this will be a time to both celebrate old hits and discover new talent.

Māori Film Week presents both Māori films, and also international indigenous films. International film makers, artists and musicians have traveled to NZ especially for Māori Film Week, and will be collaborating with Māori artists, film makers and musicians here.

This year alongside the film screenings, there are art exhibitions, wānanga (workshops), artist retreats and musical performances.

When is Māori Film Week - Hi Wiki Kiriata Māori?

Māori Film Week will be every year in the first week of the Auckland Matariki calendar, in June or July, as the Matariki constellation rises on the horizon.

In 2018, Māori Film Week is June 30 to July 8.

Who is organising Māori Film Week - He Wiki Kiriata Māori?

The Wairoa Māori Film Festival is presenting Māori Film Week in Auckland this year, with the support of Auckland Council, NZ Film Commission and Nga Aho Whakaari Māori in Screen Production.

Wairoa Māori Film Festival has presented the Māori film festival on the East Coast of NZ for a dozen years. Many of the films screening at Māori Film Week this year have just screened at the Māori film festival, which took place at Queen's Birthday weekend in early June.

Wairoa Māori Film Festival is excited to present some of the best films from the Māori film festival in Auckland each year.

Why Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau?

Auckland is NZ's largest and most diverse city, but until now the city hasn't had an annual festival of Māori film! Māori Film Week will be an annual Māori film festival, and so much more.

Film is such a nexus for Māori and indigenous creative talent. Māori Film Week will look at art, design, food, fashion, literature, pop culture and music and their connection to film and screen production.

Māori Film Week has a strong design and art focus as it is being supported by the Auckland Design Office of Auckland Council. Part of our "Māori Futurism" theme for 2018 is imagining Tāmaki Makaurau as a Māori city, through the medium of film and moving image.

Films are presented both in venues and online. For example, this year Māori Film Week has also presented two Maori films on to NZ On Screen online. We expect this to grow each year in future.

What are the highlights this year?

We're particularly excited about our free Troy Kingi concert in Freyberg Place, 6 pm on a Friday July 6. It's themed as "Journey to Zygertron" and there will be robots, laser beams and dancers!

We are also really excited that all of the screenings are either free or low cost, thanks to the sponsorship of Auckland Council. All of the screenings at Ellen Melville Centre are free, from July 6 to July 8. You can pre book at Eventbrite. Screenings at the Academy Cinema are only $10, $5 concession.

We love all the art at Māori Film Week this year. There is an exhibition at TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre in Hillsborough that people should check out, light boxes in Freyberg Place and Bledisloe Lane, and a light activation at Pa Rongorongo on Victoria Street (photos, above).

There's a real wow factor to Māori Film Week this year, lighting up the streets of the city and letting Māori people see themselves across Tāmaki Makaurau.

All the Māori Film Week details are at: www.kiaora.tv

Come along to the free Troy Kingi Concert:
http://www.kiaora.tv/maori-film-week/2018/6/16/journey-to-zygertron

Book the free tickets:
https://www.eventbrite.com/o/wairoa-maori-film-festival-17523993246

Buy tickets at the Academy:
https://academycinemas.co.nz/maori-film-week

The guest artists at Māori Film Week 2018:
http://www.kiaora.tv/maori-film-week/2018/6/29/maori-film-week-artists

Maori Film Week - He Wiki Kiriata Maori 2018

Wairoa Māori Film Festival presents He Wiki Kiriata Māori – Māori Film Week, a celebration of Māori and indigenous cinema and multimedia in central Auckland.

This year the theme is Māori Futurism, spread across nine days and seven venues, with over 50 short films, feature dramas and documentaries.

 He Wiki Kiriata Māori presents a feast of futuristic and fantastic Māori and indigenous art and culture, including Lightbox Art Exhibitions in Freyberg Place and Bledisloe Lane.

Kindly supported by Auckland Council.

Photos: Angus Muir and Christopher Wong.

Authorised by: Te Roopu Whakaata Māori I Te Wairoa Inc & Kaporangi Kiriata Māori Film Arts Trust.

Wairoa Maori Film Awards 2018

Te Rerenga Kotuku opened the night’s celebration!

Te Rerenga Kotuku opened the night’s celebration!

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.

Students who supported Mary Stubbings in receipt of her leadership award.

Students who supported Mary Stubbings in receipt of her leadership award.

The Wairoa Maori Film Festival International Indigenous Award was presented to Assinajaq for "Three Thousand".

The award was presented to Assinajaq by Sir Bob Harvey, one of the founding patrons of the Wairoa Maori Film Festival.

Asinnajaq, also known as Isabella Rose Weetaluktuk, is a visual artist, filmmaker and writer based in Montreal. Asinnajaq's practice is grounded in research and collaboration, which includes working with other artists, friends and family. In 2016 she worked with the National Film Board of Canada's archive to source historical and contemporary Inuit films and colonial representations of Inuit in film. The footage she pulled is included in her short film "Three Thousand." The film was nominated for Best Short Documentary at the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, and screened at the Berlinale Film Festival.

The Mana Wairoa Grand Prize for Advancement of Indigenous Rights was presented to WARU. The producers of WARU are Kerry Warkia and Kiel McNaughton. The director/writers of WARU are Briar Grace-Smith, Casey Kaa, Ainsley Gardiner, Katie Wolfe, Chelsea Cohen, Renae Maihi, Paula Jones, Awanui Simich-Pene (director only), and Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu (writer only).

The Mana Wairoa Grand Prize was presented by Wairoa Deputy Mayor Denise Eaglesome Karekare. She was assisted by students for Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Maungarongo in Wairoa.

The evening ended with a preview of He Wiki Kiriata Maori - Maori Film Week, a new event the organisers of WMFF will be presented in Auckland in early July. The theme of Maori Film Week will be Maori Futurism, with a Maori Comic Con event planned to occur at Ellen Melville Hall and screenings at the Academy Cinema. A programme of Maori shorts for Matariki will also be launched on NZ On Screen. The Whakapapa Film Festival of Italy will also be taking place in Europe during Maori Film Week, adding a unique international flavour to this new event that aims to uplift the profile of Maori cinema and film makers.

Also closing the evening was a mass choir of the audience singing Tutira Mai Nga Iwi. The choir was lead by Toni Huata, who explained how her Great Uncle Rev. Wi Huata was inspired to write the song following journeys to Wairoa that go past Lake Tutira. The recording of the mass choir will be included in the Great Wairoa Video Boil Up of Tutira Mai Nga Iwi, that will premiere at Maori Film Week in July.

The next Wairoa Maori Film Festival will take place at Kahungunu Marae, Nuhaka, and the Gaiety Theatre, Wairoa, from May 31 to June 3 2019. The theme in 2019 will be "Maori Myths and Legends."

Authorised by Te Roopu Whakaata Maori I Te Wairoa - Wairoa Maori Film Festival Society Inc.

ENDS

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WAIROA MAORI FILM AWARDS 2017

WAIROA MAORI FILM AWARDS 2017
PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JUNE 3 2017: The Wairoa Maori Film Awards were held last night at the Gaiety Theatre, Wairoa. Here are the award winners:

T-TAHITI PRIZE - return trip to Tahiti to travel to the T-Tahiti Film Festival
Award to: TAMA by Jared Flitcroft & Jack O'Donnell

Moana Prize (Best Pasifika Short) decided by the Moana Jury
Award to: MARIA by Jeremiah Tauamiti

Whenua Prize (Māori Short) decided by the Whenua Jury
Award to: TAMA by Jared Flitcroft & Jack O'Donnell

Audience Award - Maori Short Film
Award to: TAMA by Jared Flitcroft & Jack O'Donnel

Audience Award - Maori Short Film - Actor
Award to: Eric Matthews as Tama, in TAMA by Jared Flitcroft & Jack O'Donnel

Audience Award -Maori Short Film - Actress
Award to: Aidee Walker, in LAUNDRY by Becs Arahanga

Mana Kainga Award - for a community making contribution to Maori film making
Award to: NATALIE - Qianna Titore & the Hokianga community

Te Wairoa Award - For Contribution to Media in Wairoa
Ratima Hauraki & Zach Stark

WMFF WIFT Mana Wahine Award
Award to: CHRISTINA ASHER

WMFF PIFT Mana Pasifika Award
Award to: CRAIG FASI of the Pollywood Film Festival

International Indigenous Award
Award to: FROM UP NORTH by Trudy Stewart, Janine Windolph & Noel Starblanket

Mana Wairoa Award - for contribution to the advancement of indigenous rights
Award to: LGBTQI+ AOTEAROA THEN & NOW by Teresa Wells & Qmunnity Gisborne Youth

TONI HUATA TO HEADLINE FESTIVAL GALA

MAY 15, 2017: Nuhaka, Aotearoa, New Zealand

Organisers of this year's Wairoa Maori Film Festival are proud to announce that Toni Huata will be the headline performer at the Wairoa Maori Film Awards in June.

From London jazz clubs to European arts festivals, Toni Huata's style and strength
as a performer allows her to stand confidently in the Māori and non-Māori worlds.
 
Toni is a Māori songtress, actor, performer, director and producer whose talent allows her to
perform at various music and dance festivals both nationally and around the world including
support to The Neville Brothers (USA).
 
Toni has performed in London-UK, Basque, Spain, Holland, Germany, Canada, Hawaii,
Rarotonga, Manila-Philippines, Palau, America Samoa, Solomon Islands, Australia, China,
Hungary, Austria and Japan.
 
Her performances overseas have earned her praise:
 
"Toni brings forth sounds and feelings from the past, mixes it with today's international
musical influences to present a sound for the future" -Tū Mai Magazine, NZ
 
"Aotearoa's very own Whitney Houston"- Cook Island News
 
"Maori Diva sings in London" - NZ News, UK
 
"Her stunning voice has been heard before but 'Te Māori e' is a visual and aural delight"
- Real Groovy, NZ
 
Constantly in demand, audiences are captivated as Toni adds to the allurement of our
exotic shores making Maori language “sexy’”.– Tu Mai Magazine, NZ
 
Hailing from Hastings in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, Toni says she was surrounded by
an eclectic array of influences including the Anglican Church, choir, tap dancing,
musical theatre and Mäori cultural performance. She affiliates to Ngäti Kahungunu and
Rongowhakaata tribes, and is also of Lebanese, German, Scandinavian and Irish decent.
 
Toni's music reflects her deep spiritual roots however vocals range from jazz to soul ballads,
opera to haka. Toni graduated in music at Whitireia Polytechnic, than toured throughout NZ
for four years in Jim Moriarty's Te Rakau Hua o Te Wao Tapu theatre company. Adding more
strings to her bow, Toni’s voice features in Peter Jackson’s King Kong and she performs in
various theatre including her starring role as Hine-nui-te-Po in the NZ renowned aerial theatre
production of ‘Maui – One Man against the Gods’, World of Wearable Arts, New Zealand festival etc.
 
“Toni Huata brings serene strength to Hine, and shows great focus and vocal control, by
continuing to sing with effortless beauty, as she flies across the stage”. – Theatre review, NZ
 
Toni has a EP Kahungunu Maranga (2016) and FIVE award winning, chart topping solo
albums, TOMOKIA (2014), HOPUKIA (2012), WHITI (2010), MAURI TO (2003) and
TE MAORI E (2001) where she continues collaborate with producer Paddy Free and
renowned composer, percussionist Gareth Farr (Rugby World Cup 2011 opening
ceremony music). Toni’s voice also featured in the Fan Fare music by Gareth Farr for all
48 RWC 2011 games as the teams entered the fields to play.
 
Toni is also a motivational speaker, vocal coach, stage craft tutor, event organizer and
mother of two.

TICKETS TO THE AWARDS NIGHT

Tickets to the Awards Night are only $40 and can be purchased from Eventfinder.