There’s a strong Māori presence at the inaugural edition of the Winda Film Festival in Sydney this weekend.
Setting its sights firmly on growing into a significant international indigenous film festival event, the inaugural programme has been curated to a theme of ‘From the Four Directions’. Winda’s name is the Gumbaynggirr word for stars. The brightest star for the inaugural edition is Canada’s long-running imagineNATIVE, the gold standard in indigenous media festival events. That festival has helped establish Winda, and imagineNATIVE’s Artistic Director, Jason Ryle, has curated parts of the Winda programme.
Tainui Stephens and Libby Hakaraia created the Māoriland Film Festival (which coincidentally closes its doors for submissions to its 2017 edition next week). They’re in Sydney to support Winda, and to present shorts made as part of Māoriland’s Native Slam. The initiative paired Māori filmmakers with indigenous filmmakers from overseas for a 72-hour filmmaking prgoramme. The resulting films Ara, Ra’satste, Sech’el, Skoha and Tawhaowhao screen at Winda. Also supporting the screenings are Chelsea Winstanley, Kath Akuhata-Brown and Mike Jonathan, three of the Maori filmmakers from the Native Slam initiative.
Lee Tamahori’s Mahana opens the festival, with Nancy Brunning (pictured, top, in Mahana) in attendance. Earlier this year Brunning was named a recipient of WIFT’s Mana Wahine Award.
Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa’s Three Wise Cousins closes the festival, which also includes a screening of Ivan Sen’s Goldstone, which premiered at the Sydney Film Festival in July.
Sydney also gets more Māori content next weekend, when the Aotearoa Māori Film Festival screens in the city.
Winda Film Festival runs 10 – 13 November.