31 MAY 2015, Wairoa, Aotearoa New Zealand: At the Maori Film Awards last evening, hosted at the Gaiety Cinema as part of the Wairoa Maori Film Festival, HAWAIIKI HOU - the World Maori Film Festival Congress was launched.
Former Wairoa Mayor Derek Fox announced the establishment of the World Maori Film Festival Congress. The newly established World Maori Film Festival Congress will connect cinematic art events in Nuhaka, Wairoa, Auckland, Sydney, Cairns, Rarotonga, Honolulu, Tahiti and New York City.
Events that are founder members of this network are:
Wairoa Maori Film Festival, a premiere signature Maori event hosted in Nuhaka and Wairoa annually by Te Roopu Whakaata Maori I Te Wairoa Inc. Sponsor include New Zealand Film Commission, Wairoa District Council and Te Matarae O Te Wairoa Trust.
Rarotonga Maori Film Festival: Wairoa Maori Film Festival is working together with Derek Fox and Jaewynn McKay of Woven Pacific. The Rarotonga Maori Film Festival will occur in the Cook Islands later this year as part of the 50th Anniversary of Cook Islands Independence, hosted by Aotearoa House.
Sydney Maori Film Festival, to occur in Sydney later this year. Hosted by Brent Reihana and Riika Lintola of the Sydney Maori Business Network, this is the third Maori Film Festival hosted in Sydney, Australia.
New York Maori Film Festival: Wairoa Maori Film Festival is working together with Sarah Smith of Mokoism to launch a joint venture New York Maori Film Festival for late 2015. Event partners are in discussions with the Metropolitan Museum of Art to host the Opening Gala for the New York Maori Film Festival, with a delegation of Maori film makers in attendance.
Representatives of three associate members of the World Maori Film Festival Congress were present and talked of their festival events which will share indigenous film content, including Maori, Hawaiian and Aboriginal Australian.
Jenny Fraser spoke of the SOLID SCREEN Screen Arts festival held in Innot Hot Springs, Queensland, and hosted out of Cairns, Australia. SOLID SCREEN hosted a gathering of global indigenous wahine in 2014, including Hiona Henare, film maker and member of the Wairoa Maori Film Festival Board.
Lennie Hill spoke of the T-Tahiti Maori to Maohi film festival, founded by himself and Tiairani Drollet LeCaill of Tahiti. T-Tahiti sponsored two Tahitian film makers to be in attendance at the Wairoa Maori Film Festival, and sponsored the T-Tahiti Wairoa prize that will see Tim Worrall, director of "Tits on a Bull" flying business class to Tahiti next year to the T-Tahiti film festival.
Louisa Tipene Opetaia spoke of the Aotearoa NZ Film Festival held annually at the Honolulu Museum of Art in Hawaii. Each year, NZ films are screened at the museum, including a selection of short films curated by the Wairoa Maori Film Festival.
This announcement was made a sold-out Gala Awards Dinner at the newly reopened Gaiety Cinema in Wairoa. Stark Raving production is looking to set up a film production house out of the Gaiety Cinema, including full post-production facilities. Stark Raving is based in Hong Kong and is associated with the Shaw Group of film studios, whose heritage go back to the era of Bruce Lee.