The programme is announced via a new website, presenting a strong selection of local and international fare of indigenous origin.
Wairoa Maori Film Festival Director Leo Koziol also curates titles for other festivals here and overseas. Here Koziol selects for the NZIFF’s Nga Whanaunga Maori Pasifika Short Films programme, and for the Matariki Short Film Festival and Kia Ora Shorts.
Elsewhere, Wairoa has considerably expanded its relationships over the last year, delivering films for festivals in Fiji, Finland, Germany and Australia. Koziol expects the Australian connections in particular to grow over the coming year, eyeing growth from the Sydney presentation to add events in Brisbane and Melbourne.
This year also sees the debut of a reciprocal agreement with Tahiti’s Te Nati Tahiti festival. The deal saw a programme of NZ titles screen as part of the recent festival in Tahiti, with a Tahitian programme a feature of Wairoa’s weekend.
Wairoa will hand out its awards on the Saturday evening (31 May).
Joining the previously announced Keo Woolford’s Hawaiian feature The Haumana are Australian Warwick Thornton’s The Darkside and Curtis Vowell’s NZIFF-premiered Fantail (which begins its national release after the festival).
There are also encore screenings for a pair of local features that have completed their theatrical runs: Himiona Grace’s The Pa Boys and Dana Rotberg’s White Lies / Tuakiri Huna, which played Toronto last year and was also NZ’s Foreign Language Oscar submission.
Wairoa runs the same weekend the Doc Edge Festival comes to a close in Auckland. The previously announced Hawaiian doco, Dean Hamer & Joe Wilson’s Kumu Hina, is the only international feature length doco named in the programme. It will also play in the Out Takes Festival.
Amy Taylor’s Soul In The Sea looks at dolphin Moko, who became very popular in the months before his 2010 death. Taylor is a graduate of NHNZ/Otago Uni’s Natural History Filmmaking diploma course, which has turned out plenty of festival selected titles.
Annie Goldson & Kay Ellmers’ He Toki Huna: NZ In Afghanistan plays in a version that’s significantly expanded from the one screened on Maori Television.
The in-competition shorts programme runs to seven titles. Two are currently en route for Cannes: Apirana Ipo Te Maipi’s Home and Richard Curtis’ Ahi Ka.
Hamish Bennett’s Ross and Beth, Helena Bethune’s animated The Rangimoekaus, Rebecca Collins’ Tohunga, Poata Eruera’s Pumanawa The Gift and Darren Simmonds’ Inc’d complete the line-up.
Several other themed shorts programmes run during the weekend, delivering more Maori short films, the Te Nati Tahiti programme, an imagineNative programme of Canadian shorts Reel Kanata, Indigenous Frequencies, and Bush Cinema – a collection of R-rated shorts including Allan George’s award-winning Tropfest short On the Rocks.
Wairoa runs 30 May – 2 June.