Māoriland Film Festival to launch with Matariki

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

Video credit: YouTube / Māoriland Film Festival. 

The world's largest indigenous film festival is back for the ninth year, and it will happen at a very special time for Aotearoa.

The Māoriland Film Festival will showcase indigenous filmmakers and stars, days after the first public holiday of Matariki (June 24), happening from June 29 to July 3. It also runs as part of Matariki Ramaroa - Kāpiti Light Arts Festival.

The film festival itself will present over 100 films from more than 130 Indigenous nations, with this year's theme being “He pitomata He Pito Ora” - The Potential of Life.

One of the feature films to be shown to audiences includes the second Disney animated movie to be translated into te reo Māori, The Lion King Reo Māori, directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Chelsea Winstanley, and Tweedie Waititi (Moana Reo Māori). Another animated film to be translated into te reo Māori is the 2019 movie Astro Kid, titled Tama Kaiātea. These films will be screened at Te Wānanga o Raukawa in Ōtaki.

A special event on Thursday, June 30 will see He Waiora - the world premiere of the Ngā Pakiaka Incubator Programme. This programme shows eight rangatahi filmmakers, from Ōtaki up to Te Kao, producing their first-ever short films. 

Other films around the world include Tote Abuelo (Grandfather), a film that depicts Mexican life across generations, and the best emerging film at the Vancouver International Film Festival 2021, Portraits From a Fire.

Tickets are available from today on iTicket.