20 Mar 2019

Indigenous filmmakers gather at Māoriland

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, 1:26 pm on 20 March 2019

New Zealand's international indigenous film festival Māoriland is running now until Sunday in the town of Ōtaki.

"There's a lot of different languages being heard on the streets of Ōtaki ... and the weather couldn't be nicer," festival director Libby Hakaraia tells Jesse Mulligan.

Hakaraia says a lot of people have been asking her whether last week's Christchurch terror attacks will affect this year's Māoriland festival. Her answer?

"Of course. But what we do and how we do things going forward is what makes us who we are."

Libby has received messages of support and condolence from filmmakers around the world.

She says there is a real sense of 'this is going to bring us together' within the film community.

"Film is a great way to connect people. We might not have the same language, the same ideas, the same upbringing or the same set of circumstances and yet we can watch a story together, have a conversation, and people do change."

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Participants in NATIVE Slam – a 72-hour filmmaking contest in which Māori and international filmmakers collaborate Photo: Supplied

This year at Māoriland, a three-month residency for indigenous filmmakers – the first of its kind in New Zealand – was announced to much delight, Libby says.

"A lot of filmmakers, we spend every dime, and we might not have much, to make the story we're so passionate about telling.

"Who wouldn't want to come and stay at a beach for three months – but work?"

Māori filmmakers are fortunate to have the New Zealand Film Commission, Libby says.

"It's a wonderful thing to be able to go to a government agency and have a conversation around storytelling."

  • Libby Hakaria spoke to Jesse Mulligan about her film The Grave Digger of Kapu (which is screening at Māoriland) in October 2018.

You can find out more about the Māoriland Film Festival here:

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