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Tama big winner in Wairoa

Jared Flitcroft & Jack O’Donnell’s short film Tama took four awards at Saturday’s Wairoa Māori Film Awards, including the prize for Best Māori Short.

The filmmakers (picture, top) were awarded from a field of six finalists, by a jury of academic Ella Henry, radio host Dale Husband, filmmaker Tere Harrison, and artist and activist Tame Iti.

The story of a deaf Maori teenager as he struggles to learn the haka, Tama was (almost four years ago now), one of the earliest projects to seek crowdfunding via the Arts Foundation’s Boosted platform.

This year the festival has split its Best Short prize into two awards, to better acknowledge Māori and Pasifka talents.

The winner of the Moana Prize (Best Pasifika Short) was Jeremiah Tauamiti’s Maria. Tauamiti is a member of Goodfellas, who’ve scored six 48Hours grand final appearances courtesy of Peter Jackson wildcards. He’s also recently been prepping for a shoot in Samoa.

Maria won out over five other finalists, chosen by a jury of Hawai’i’s Leanne Ferrer, T-Tahiti’s Tiairani Drollet-Le Caill, Bright Sunday’s Stella Muller and Pollywood Film Festival founder Craig Fasi, who was himself honoured with the WMFF PIFT Mana Pasifika Award at the ceremony.



The Wairoa Māori Film Festival ran 2 – 5 June. The festival’s awards were presented on Saturday at the Gaiety Theatre, Wairoa. The winners were:

A return trip to the T-Tahiti Film Festival
Tama by Jared Flitcroft & Jack O’Donnell

Moana Prize (Best Pasifika Short)
Maria by Jeremiah Tauamiti

Whenua Prize (Māori Short)
Tama by Jared Flitcroft & Jack O’Donnell

Audience Award – Maori Short Film
Tama by Jared Flitcroft & Jack O’Donnell

Audience Award – Maori Short Film – Actor
Eric Matthews as Tama, in Tama by Jared Flitcroft & Jack O’Donnell

Audience Award -Maori Short Film – Actress
Aidee Walker, in Laundry by Becs Arahanga

Mana Kainga Award
for community contribution to Maori film making
Natalie, Qianna Titore & the Hokianga community

Te Wairoa Award – For Contribution to Media in Wairoa
Ratima Hauraki & Zach Stark

WMFF WIFT Mana Wahine Award
Christina Asher

WMFF PIFT Mana Pasifika Award
Craig Fasi of the Pollywood Film Festival

International Indigenous Award
From Up North by Trudy Stewart, Janine Windolph & Noel Starblanket

Mana Wairoa Award
for contribution to the advancement of indigenous rights
LGBTQI+ Aotearoa Then & Now by Teresa Wells & Qmunnity Gisborne Youth

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