Tama, the first Deaf and hearing short film collaboration to feature at the New Zealand International Film Festival, will screen in Wellington (13 August), Christchurch (16 and 17 August) and Dunedin (18 and 19 August) as part of the Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts Programme.
Filmmakers Jared Flitcroft (Deaf) and Jack O’Donnell (hearing) co-directed this short film with Deaf and hearing actors. Eric Matthews (Deaf) plays the lead role – a boy called Tama.
Tama is about a young Māori Deaf boy who wants to perform the haka. On a near-fatal car trip, Tama has to confront his family. In his struggle, he begins to grow from an undervalued youth into a proud young man.
Tama won four awards at the Wairoa Maori Film Festival In June 2017, including the Whenua Jury Prize for Best Māori Short Film, Best Actor (Eric Matthews), the Audience Choice Award, and the T-Tahiti Prize to send Jared Flitcroft to Tahiti in October to screen Tama as part of the T-Tahiti International Film Festival.
Tama was filmed in Ohariu Valley in Wellington. The cast and crew are from Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch and Hawke’s Bay. It has already screened in Auckland. It screens in Te Papa Soundings Theatre, Wellington at 1.15pm on 13 August; in Christchurch at Hoyts Northland 4 at 6.15pm on 16 August and 12pm 17 August; and in Dunedin at Rialto Cinemas at 2pm on 18 August and 6.30pmon 19 August.