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Māoriland draws international guests

Māoriland Film Festival, Ōtaki, 22 March 2015: Filmmakers from around the world will be arriving in Ōtaki this week ahead of the second Māoriland Film Festival.

Modelled on the hugely successful Sundance Film Festival, Māoriland is New Zealand’s first International Indigenous film festival and has attracted filmmakers from as far away as Greenland and Siberia. They will join indigenous filmmakers from Canada, USA, Australia and Latin America whose films have also shown in prestigous film festivals such as Berlin, Sundance and imagineNATIVE in Canada – the world’s largest indigenous film festival.

In the early 1920s Australian company Federated Feature Films Ltd proposed a New Zealand branch to produce feature films. Ōtaki was a suggested as a suitable place to establish a studio because of the town’s varied scenery and “potent actinic rays” (white light). The New Zealand Moving Picture Company was established. At the end of the films produced in Ōtaki was the text plate “The home of Māoriland Films and the The Los Angelos (sic) of New Zealand’s moving picture industry”

Now, nearly one hundred years on, the name Māoriland has been restored.

The Māoriland Film Festival is the first International, Indigenous, Industry focused Film Festival in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Our vision is to use a native lens and iwi screens to bring the world’s best cinema stories, those usually only seen at International Film Festivals, to Ōtaki and to provide an opportunity to showcase our own homegrown talent.

In 2015 filmmakers from Canada, USA, South America and Europe (including the Sami from Norway and Greenland), Australia and the Pacific join a large number of Māori filmmakers and actors to share their films, meet, talk and interact directly with the festival public over five exciting days, 24th – 29th March 2015.

Films will be screened at 5 truly unique venues, Raukawa Marae, the historic Rangiatea Church, Hadfield Hall, the 1940’s art deco theatre The Civic, and Te Wananga O Raukawa’s Nga Purapura stadium.

With 120 short films, 11 feature films, documentaries, dedicated school screenings, a youth (rangatahi) Filmmaking Competition and numerous workshops to select from there will be something for everyone.

Māoriland Film Festival welcomes you all to come to Ōtaki and Experience the World. Nau Mai, Haere Mai ki Ōtaki

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