Keynote Speaker Tame Iti Announced

PRESS RELEASE: MAY 5 2017: Nuhaka, Aotearoa, New Zealand
The organisers of this year's Wairoa Maori Film Festival are proud to announce the keynote speaker for this year's gala Wairoa Maori Film Awards night: Tame Iti.
Tame Iti needs no introduction. Here is his biography from TEDx New Zealand:
Tame Iti (Ngai Tuhoe / Waikato / Te Arawa)
Tame Iti is known as many things… Activist, Artist, Terrorist and Cyclist. Literally wearing his Tuhoe heritage on his face, Iti is hard to miss in a crowd despite being just 5ft 4″ tall. His 40 year history of controversial and theatrical displays of political expression have included pitching a tent on parliament grounds and calling it the Maori embassy, Shooting a national flag in front of government officials and the curious spate of public meetings where he appeared with a ladder so as to speak eye to eye with officials who were seated on stage. Iti explores how the old saying of “Te ka nohi ki te ka nohi” (Dealing with it eye to eye) creates a far more productive space for open dialogue around any issue. “No one can tell you that you are not important and your experience does not matter and if they do… I challenge them to say it to your face… where they can see your eyes and feel your breath.”

"It is a great privilege to bring a visionary such as Tame to Wairoa," says Festival Director Leo Koziol. "Last year, the Maori Film Festival took Maori and Canadian First Nations films to Taneatua Gallery. This year, we hope to take a Canadian First Nations delegation to Taneatua and Ruatoki." Ruatoki was the location of two early Maori film festivals in the 1990s.
Tame Iti recently opened the Taneatua Gallery. The Tāneatua Gallery is a contemporary art gallery, exhibiting works by international artists, and emerging artists and shows. The Taneatua Gallery was established and is the result of a dream and a strong desire to support artists and the people of Tūhoe within the community.
It is hoped his visit to Wairoa will spark interest in establishing a similar gallery for Ngati Kahungunu and Tūhoe artists in the Wairoa community.
As well as a keynote from Tame Iti, there will be a range of film awards presented on the night. Amongst these awards is the recently announced Women in Film & Television NZ Mana Wahine Award to one of New Zealand's most committed and passionate advocates for our Māori and wider New Zealand screen industry - Christina Asher.

Tickets for the Awards Gala and Film Festival can be booked through Eventfinder - Maori Film Awards only $40, Full Festival Pass including Awards $140.
The Wairoa Māori Film Festival this year has 26 screenings with 70 shorts, and seven 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 third 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. Premiering at the festival will be a collection of "two spirit" collaborative short films shot in Saskatchewan last year. Guests in attendance will include international film makers from Tahiti, Hawaii and Canada. 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, Ngā Aho Whakaari, Radio Waatea, Te Matarae O Te Wairoa Trust and Wairoa District Council. The entire programme will available for viewing next week at:
For media enquiries please contact Leo Koziol, Festival Director, Wairoa Māori Film Festival, on

Photo from "Price of Peace" Director Kim Webby, Producer Christina Milligan