New Cinema at Wairoa Maori Film Festival

"Mannahatta" by Renae Maihi

"Mannahatta" by Renae Maihi

26 April 2017, Nuhaka, Aotearoa New Zealand

A diverse range of new cinematic works will be presented at the Wairoa Maori Film Festival this June. Festival organisers have released the first announcement of Maori and Pasifika short film works screening at the festival this year. A selection of these films will go on to screen at NZIFF in NZ's main centres, as part of the "Nga Whanaunga Maori Pasifika" programme.

Join us in Wairoa, Friday June 2 Monday June 5, at Kahungunu Marae (Nuhaka) and the Gaiety Theatre (Wairoa). Tickets on sale now.

LAUNDRY by Becs Arahanga

'Laundry' is a funny, light-hearted, and cringingly relatable story about love life after marriage. Starring Jarod Rawiri ("Shortland Street") and Aidee Walker. The first short film from Becs Arahanga.

MANNAHATTA by Renae Maihi

In the city that never sleeps, wanders a ghost that cannot rest.

When an ancient Native American spirit lost in an in-between world is seen by pizza worker Ivan he attempts to get a message across.

But Ivan isn’t interested, he is on a oneweek trial in this busy New York City pizzeria and cannot afford to lose the job. But some ghosts cannot rest until they are heard.

Mannahatta - a compelling and at times humorous black & white film about peace & understanding.

Mannahatta is the new short film from Ngati Whakaue/Ngapuhi film maker Renae Maihi.

 DATE NIGHT by Kahurangi Carter

DATE NIGHT is a colourful New Zealand comedy/drama short film that captures a day in the life of Lily(Carter), a beautiful and caring Maori solo mum and her two high voltage children Tahi and Pipi. Lilly wants nothing more than to go on her date night but life gets in the way.

LAND OF THE TANIWHA by Aidan Otene Dickens

Taniwha: [Tanifa]
“Supernatural creatures in New Zealand Māori tradition, similar to serpents and dragons in other cultures, said to hide in the ocean, rivers, lakes or caves.”

Wiremu is an 11 year old Maori boy who misses his dead father and doesn’t get on with his new stepfather, John. John is having difficulty adjusting to his new role and frequently butts heads with moody Wiremu. At school, Wiremu asks his Te Reo teacher how to call a taniwha. What follows is a story of forgiveness and redemption.


‘Te Ao O Ngā Hui' (The Wide World of the Gourd) is a short experimental film completed in 2016. It explores how taonga pūoro practitioners (traditional Māori instruments) come into dialogue with the voices of the atua, or the multiple deities. This project was made in collaboration with Alistair Fraser and Russell G. Shaw, as part of a wider research project on musical composition and perception with taonga pūoro in Aotearoa/New Zealand (2016). This film accentuates how taonga pūoro practitioners utilise their senses to imagine, empathise and furthermore resonant with something in the environment, before turning these experiences into music.

LET THE MOUNTAIN SPEAK by Vilsoni Hereniko

A visual treat of the world's tallest mountain on earth where telescopes reach out to starry skies, this visual poem accompanied by stunning images and ethereal music alludes also to human relationships where sacred and secular values collide and search for meaning.

LADY EVA by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu (Tonga)

A brave young transgender woman sets off on a journey to become her true self in the conservative Pacific Island Kingdom of Tonga – with a little inspiration from Tina Turner along the way.

HO'OMAU (Hawai'i)

In the wake of a significant migratory period in ancient Hawai‘i, some have arrived to find abundance, assimilation and peace, while others have found only rejection and war. Anchored in the belief that integration will only bring suffering for his people, a young chief and his followers set out to rid their district of newcomers.

Lehua, a daring yet spiteful young girl who has lost her home in the chaos of war, hides out in a dark cave with her mother and infant brother. She longs to be out in the wild fighting the sinister dangers that lurk outside the cave, but when her grandfather returns wounded Lehua soon finds herself at the forefront of the struggle between life and death, forced to make the most difficult decision of her life.

Directed by Kenji Doughty.

THE BRIDGE (Hawai'i)

Pono, a tenacious seven-year old boy lives with his family in a five-story tree house deep in the rainforest of Hawaii's Manoa Valley. Pono's father provides critical ancestral knowledge through cultural transmission to his youngest descendant. After tragedy strikes the family, Pono's mother blames her youngest son and repeatedly pushes him away. Pono, however, is the heir to critical cultural practices, which can help her resolve her inner conflict between Christianity/religion and Hawaiian spirituality, but only if she can concede to Hawaiian culture through the encouragement of the son she has alienated.

Directed by Cindy Iodice, Producers Connie M. Florez and Ken Monroe.


This is the story of a boy who sees itself as a girl. A difference which will be accepted badly. He will hate his sex for the benefit of his internal feeling. A drama on the study of the acceptance of difference. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" ( W.Oscar )