Māoriland Film Festival encouraging more youth into industry

By Te Ao - Māori News

Māoriland Films have been working with youth to boost more Māori into the film industry.

While Māoriland was affected by the recent COVID-19 lockdown, veteran Māori director and producer Tainui Stephens confirms some of it still went ahead.

"Even though we couldn't get together to air the films, our youth still went on with their training, their film making, and with art, a lot was sold during that time. So with films, three or four months from now we'll be able to air them again here in Ōtaki," explains Stephens.

He says working with the youth is imperative for the future of Māori films.

"If we don't think about our youth, what are we doing in this industry? That's film making and we're equipping them with the tools they need to succeed within the film industry. 

"Our young people are coming from across the country, and Māoriland have the opportunity to teach them. In time they'll be amazing. Our youth know modern technology. They know how to work things we don't."

He also says that there are numerous ways to succeed in indigenous film making. While Māoridom has shining examples in the likes of Taika Waititi, Cliff Curtis, Barry, Merata and Julian, Stephens says we can look to other indigenous peoples like the Sami, the Native Americans and Aboriginal filmmakers as well.