MFF HISTORY

The Māoriland Film Festival (MFF) was launched in 2013, at the ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto, Canada.

The following March, the first Māoriland Film Festival was held in Ōtaki, Aotearoa. That programme featured 48 short films and 10 feature films with kōrero from 2016 New Zealander of the Year, Taika Waititi and a keynote address of the whakapapa of Māori film Māoriland Charitable Trust Chairman, film producer and director Tainui Stephens. (Te Rarawa).

Since this first festival in 2014, the MFF has grown quickly, attracting an audience of 9,500 in 2017.

Māoriland Film Festival will celebrate its 5th birthday in Ōtaki, Aotearoa from March 21 – 25, 2018.

2017

The fourth annual Māoriland Film Festival was held from March 15 – 19, 2017 with a programme that took audiences from Aotearoa to the Arctic.

2017 PROGRAMME QUICK FACTS

      • 121 Features, Shorts, Documentaries, Workshops, Kōrero and other special events over five days.
      • 8 New Zealand premieres of multi-award-winning international Indigenous feature films.
      • 100 films from 15 countries and 71 Indigenous nations
      • 35 New Zealand films
      • A majority of film and videos created by Indigenous female directors (60%)
      • 9,500 visitors in attendance
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In 2017 the festival awarded its first set of People’s Choice Awards. Audiences were asked to vote for their favourite films using an Emotiki voting system. The 2017 award winners were:

People’s Choice Award for Best Documentary: RISE; Standing Rock (dir. Michelle Latimer, Algonquin)

People’s Choice Award for Best Feature Film: TANNA (cultural dir. Jimmy Joseph Nako (Yakel Tribe), dir. Martin Butler, Bentley Dean)

People’s Choice Award for Short Film: BLACKBIRD (dir. Amie Batalibasi, Solomon Islander)

Michelle Latimer, director of RISE speaking at its sold-out Māoriland screening
Michelle Latimer, director of RISE speaking at its sold-out Māoriland screening

In 2017, we also celebrated the first Māoriland Rangatahi Film Festival (MRFF) which ran over the first three days of the festival. The MRFF was programmed by Ngā Pakiaka, a group of rangatahi filmmakers. Over six months, Ngā Pakiaka reviewed over 80 films to put together a programme of films for their peers.

A highlight of the MRFF was the E Tū Whānau Rangatahi Film Awards. In its fourth year, these awards are a celebration of our budding rangatahi Māori filmmakers.

The 2017 award winners were:

The E Tū Whānau Rangatahi Filmmaking Award for Filmmaker of the Year – Te Ihorei, sponsored by E Tu Whānau: WARNING (dir. Neihana Lowe)

The E Tū Whānau Rangatahi Filmmaking Award for Best Drama – Te Tino Whakaataata: KAPUMANAWAWHITI (dir. Te Ahitaeawa Hakaraia-Hosking)

The E Tū Whānau Rangatahi Filmmaking Award for Best Documentary – Pakipūmeka Mātua, sponsored by My Food Bag: ŌTAKI’S SUPERHEROES (dir. Jakita Paranihi)

The E Tū Whānau Rangatahi Filmmaking Award for Best Editing – Pepa “Kotikoti,” Kōhatū, sponsored by Park Road Post: WINGS (dir. Jharaiz Kiriona)

The E Tū Whānau Rangatahi Filmmaking Award for Best Use of Theme – Wai Ora, sponsored by What Now: TURNING TABLES (dir. Pare Finlay, Jakita Paranihi, Ari Leason, Jada Murray) and All We Need Is Love (Tihei Rangatahi)

The E Tū Whānau Rangatahi Filmmaking Award for Best Actor – Te Ahikā, sponsored by Annies: Shania Bailey Edmonds in HINE.

The full programme is available to view online.

2016

The programme for Māoriland 2016 took an epic journey from the stories of the Sámi in the Arctic, through Europe and the Americas, to films from Australia, and around the Pacific including Aotearoa.

At MFF 2016 audiences were invited to see films that would affect them in all sorts of ways. Stories that might make you laugh or cry, but all of them would introduce you to different worlds: unique yet similar with our own. 

Festival director Libby Hakaraia said the strong lineup would provide unique insights into cultures the world over.

‘We are humbled that so many high calibre international, Pacific and Māori filmmakers are coming to the 3rd Māoriland Film Festival. They bring with them their films from all four points of the world including Burma, Iran, USA, Canada, South and Central America, Scandinavia and Europe.’

Highlights of the 2016 programme included Lee Tamahori’s (Ngāti Porou) MAHANA, free whānau screenings of BORN TO DANCE (dir. Tammy Davis, Ngāti Rangi, Atihaunui a Paparangi)  and THREE WISE COUSINS (dir. Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa, Samoa) and award-winning North American features, LE DEP (dir. Sonia Boileau, Mohawk), MEKKO (dir. Sterlin Harjo, Seminole, Muscogee), CHASING THE LIGHT (dir. Blackhorse Lowe, Navajo) and FIRESONG (dir. Adam Garnet Jones, Cree, Métis)

These films led an action packed 62 events including 18 feature films and 70 short films.

Onyeka Arapai and LIT Crew perform before BORN TO DANCE at MFF16
Onyeka Arapai and LIT Crew perform before BORN TO DANCE at MFF16

Filmmakers Tammy Davis, Mike Jonathan and Will Voight led the judging at the third E Tū Whānau Rangatahi Film Awards.

The recipients of these awards were:

E Tū Whānau Award for Best Drama: HE TAONGA (dir. Oriwa Hakaraia)

E Tū Whānau Award for Best Actor: Te Ahitaieawa Hakaraia Hosking (He Taonga)

E Tū Whānau Award for Best Innovation: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? (dir. Maizy Kingsford Brown)

E Tū Whānau Award for Best Documentary: HARIKOA (dir. Philadelphia Metekingi Kingsford-Brown)

E Tū Whānau Award for Best Music:HARIKOA (dir. Philadelphia Metekingi Kingsford-Brown)

E Tū Whānau Award for Best Camera: HOME (dir. Neihana Lowe & Sheldon Rua)

E Tū Whānau Award for Best Original Music: HOME (dir. Neihana Rowe & Sheldon Rua)

E Tū Whānau Award for Best Innovation: THE HEALTHY WRAP (Manaakitanga Studio & Room 7, Avalon Intermediate)

E Tū Whānau Award for Best Original Music:THE HEALTHY WRAP (Manaakitanga Studio & Room 7, Avalon Intermediate)

E Tū Whānau Award for Best Camera: PEPEHA (dir. Pani Rakuraku)

E Tū Whānau Award for Best Documentary:PEPEHA (dir. Pani Rakuraku)

E Tū Whānau Award for Best Actor: Te Akauroa Jacob (Kaitiaki)

Highly Commended: MĀORI SPY MOVIE – Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Manawatu

Highly Commended: ŌTAKI’S TREASURE – Kaea Hakaraia Hosking

The NATIVE Slam I from L to R; Blackhorse Lowe, Sunna Nousuniemi, Mick Finn, Mike Jonathan, Himiona Grace, Sonia Boileau, Echota Killsnight, Sara Margrethe Oskal, Zoe Hopkins, Kath Akuhata Brown, Tainui Stephens, Chelsea Winstanley, Trevor Mack, Pauline Clague and Libby Hakaraia.
The NATIVE Slam I from L to R; Blackhorse Lowe, Sunna Nousuniemi, Mick Finn, Mike Jonathan, Himiona Grace, Sonia Boileau, Echota Killsnight, Sara Margrethe Oskal, Zoe Hopkins, Kath Akuhata Brown, Tainui Stephens, Chelsea Winstanley, Trevor Mack, Pauline Clague and Libby Hakaraia.

In 2016, Māoriland introduced the NATIVE Slam, an international indigenous collaboration challenge for experienced filmmakers. 10 international indigenous filmmakers were invited to Aotearoa in the week before Māoriland, where they were separated into five groups – each one led by a Māori filmmaker host. They then had just 72 hours to produce a short film. Five short films were completed and have gone on to screen around the world. Learn more about the project.

View the programme brochure online

2015

The Māoriland Film Festival Programme in 2015 presented 11 feature films, 12 shorts programmes and 7 documentaries over 6 days in Ōtaki, Aotearoa.

Some 5000 people watched and enjoyed films from around the Indigenous world. These films were curated and presented with much love for the taonga (treasures) that they are.

Highlights of the 2015 programme included Hautoa Ma! The Deadland’s, Sume; Sound of a Revolution and a spotlight on the films of Te Arawa.

2014

Māoriland Film Festival was launched at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto, Canada in October 2013. In the five months that followed, a very small team of volunteers worked tirelessly to produce the first festival in March 2014.

The programme consisted of five days of screenings and workshops, including 54 shorts, 9 feature films and kōrero with award-winning Māori filmmakers Taika Waititi and Dave Whitehead.

Maoriland Film Festival Programme A3.xls

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