1. The film’s title must be in a Native language

  2. The story must be part of a wider story – in that it has context with another time, people, or place.

  3. Only one camera can be used at any one time.

  4. Available light only can be used. Neither added lights nor filters. All FX are in- camera.

  5. Every film must have some spoken and un-translated native language.

  6. Music can only express on screen emotion, it cannot illustrate action.

  7. No expenditure is permitted for the creation of costume, sets and props. – but you may want to bring some props from your national regalia that you may want to utilize.

  8. Every day of production begins and ends with prayer and ritual.

  9. Creative and managerial control of the film will be Indigenous. A portion of the intellectual property will lie with any tribal owners of the story. A portion of the profits of the film will be held in trust for Indigenous film education.

  10. Every film must heal.


The dream for the NATIVE Slam was born 14 years ago, on a Canadian road trip, snow falling; a Maori and an Aboriginal woman driving in a convertible – lid down, heater on 10, music blaring. True story! I was there. We even imagined themselves as Thelma and Louise of the Southern Hemisphere. We got plenty of stunned reactions from passing truck drivers and others on our long trip from Toronto to Ottawa. Pauline and I have been wanting to do an international collaboration ever since.

In March of 2016, just days before Māoriland film festival 15 Indigenous filmmakers gathered around Aotearoa NZ. to make a film. They had just 72 hours, with a budget of $800 NZD and yet five short films were produced. These films are The NATIVE Slam.

All the five NATIVE Slam Films had to abide by 10 rules that enhanced the importance of a native perspective in the work, respect for craft , and economy of production.

The themes of each film had to reflect the diversity of the native experiences of the filmmakers. Each filmmaker had to appear on camera in their own film.

What a thrill it was to see the 15 filmmakers arrive at Māoriland with their finished films. Even more gratifying was to see the close bonds they’d formed with their teammates. They were all of a huge creative high and it was infectious. We now launch the NATIVE Slam to the world!

Executive Producer


When Libby and I dreamed up working together all those years ago, we knew that there was a synergy of like minds in the Indigenous filmmaking fraternity around the world that would work together well.

After a lot of talking and trying to get something going as a co- production the time had come to put our forces together and make something happen. It was a simple idea that expanded into an overwhelming experience for all involved.

For years we have admired and watched the films of Indigenous filmmakers at various festivals around the world.

Last year we decided it was me for action.

Libby had Māoriland up and running strong and if some of the filmmakers were willing to come to New Zealand a few days before, what could we achieve in 72 hours?

The NATIVE Slam was a simple idea. Bring filmmakers together to make five films that heal. What we got was a lot of heart from all involved.

The importance of laying down the ten principles for the filmmakers to work from and the strong support of the Maori host filmmakers was a key to the event.

The films saw a new way of seeing how each other works and how to collaborate with different nations to the one goal.

I have been so proud to work on these films that were done in such an intense amount of time but brought together some bonding relationships that will last for years to come.

Producer of The NATIVE Slam