PRESS RELEASE: MAORI FILM AWARDS 2015

MAY 31 2015: The newly reopened Gaiety Cinema in Wairoa hosted the Maori Film Awards Gala of the Wairoa Maori Film Festival last night.

The following awards were presented:

AOTEAROA SHORT FILM - BEST ACTOR (AUDIENCE AWARD)
TIMOTI TIAKIWAI – IN OW WHAT? BY MIKE JONATHON

AOTEAROA SHORT FILM - BEST ACTRESS (AUDIENCE AWARD)
MARIA WALKER - IN TITS ON A BULL BY TIM WORRALL

T-TAHITI PRIZE (RETURN BUSINESS CLASS FLIGHT TO TAHITI ON AIR TAHITI)
TITS ON A BULL BY TIM WORRALL

AOTEAROA SHORT FILM - BEST SHORT FILM (AUDIENCE AWARD)
TITS ON A BULL BY TIM WORRALL

WOMEN IN FILM & TELEVISION WIFT MANA WAHINE AWARD
CHELSEA WINSTANLEY

INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS PRIZE
BLACK PANTHER WOMAN - BY RACHEL PERKINS

MANA WAIROA AWARD FOR OVERALL BEST ENTRY & ADVANCEMENT OF INDIGENOUS RIGHTS TO:
CONFESSIONS OF PRISONER T - THE TEINA PORA STORY - MICHAEL BENNETT

Keynote speaker was veteran film maker Gaylene Preston who also presented the WIFT Mana Wahine Award. Chelsea Winstanley was unable to attend, as she is six months hapu, but was able to send a Skype video for everyone at the festival.

Michael Bennett was present to accept the Mana Wairoa Award. He also invited lead investigator in the Teina Pora Case Tim McKinnell to the stage, where he received a standing ovation.

Over 100 people attended two Powhiri on Friday afternoon at Kahungunu Marae, followed by a night and two days of screenings at a packed marae.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Wairoa Maori Film Festival and the 40th anniversary of the Maori Artists & Writers Hui in Wairoa in 1975, Saturday afternoon was given over to a roundtable discussion about the past, present and future of Maori film.

Speakers on the roundtable included academics Dr Davinia Thornley (Univ. of Otago), Deborah Walker Morrison (Univ. of Auckland) and Dr Ella Henry (AUT). Film makers part of the "Maori New Wave" spoke of their self-funded projects in gestation: Hiona Henare on Native in Nuhaka, Lennie Hill on Umbrella Man, Mark Ruka on Barcrawl, Nikki Si'ulepa on her Latin America travel diary, and Kim Hegan on 54 Ghandi Road.

On Sunday, films also screened at the Gaiety Cinema in Wairoa. The closing night is a "Bush Cinema" at Morere Hot Springs, ended a grand celebration of 10 years of the Maori Film Festival in Wairoa.

ENDS