Maori Film Week



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

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

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  

021 438-601

Image: Three Thousand by Asinnajaq