Māoriland Festival Programme 2016

The programme for Māoriland 2016 is now live and we are excited to share a line up that takes 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  you will see films that will affect you in all sorts of ways. Stories that  might make you laugh or cry, but all of them will 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.’

Our highlights include:



Directed by Lee Tamahori (Once Were Warriors) Mahana brings Witi Ihimaera’s, Bulibasha to the big screen in splendid style. Starring Temuera Morrison and Nancy Brunning, Mahana is a gripping story of fantasy, feuds, and family.


Come join us at the Ōtaki Māori Racing Club to watch these hugely entertaining family-friendly films from Aotearoa:

Born To Dance (dir. Tammy Davis) is New Zealand’s first dance film and features choreography from multi award winner Parris Goebel. It is a tale of Tū (Tia Maipi) who dreams of becoming a professional Hip Hop dancer.

Self funded film Three Wise Cousins has taken New Zealand by storm! This is a story of rediscovery and the pursuit of love, as ‘Plastic Samoan boy’ Adam heads home to Samoa to connect with his roots. Three Wise Cousins promises to make you laugh out loud and groove to the music.


Māoriland Film Festival brings these international feature films to Aotearoa: Le Dep (Canada), Mekko (USA), Fire Song (Canada), Chasing The Light (USA),  and Jilel (Marshall Islands).  

LE DEP – Canadian feature awarded Best Emerging Talent at imagineNATIVE.

MEKKO – Award winning feature film by leading  Native American Filmmaker Sterlin Harjo.

FIRE SONG – The Audience Choice winner  at ImagineNATIVE in 2015.


Want to know more about filmmaking from the filmmakers themselves? Hone your craft at Māoriland with industry workshops including acting, dancing, sound and storytelling. Sign on for the MFF workshops happening most days. See www.maorilandfilm.co.nz/workshops for details.


Once again the Māoriland Film Festival will present nearly 100 short films from around the globe.

Experience the world through other cultures as we showcase: Sámi Nation Cinema, Native American Films, First Nations Films, Aboriginal Filmmaking and Short Films From The Basque Lands.

Explore how different Indigenous cultures interact with key themes: Whānau (Family), Whenua (Land), Whakapapa (Our connections to each other) and Wairua (Spirituality).

Māoriland will also screen films from our festival partners in FRESH – from Canada’s ImagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival (the world’s largest indigenous film festival) and Skábmagovat (the premiere Sápmi film festival).

Shorts programmes are repeated – so be sure to check the programme and plan ahead!


They threw a great party in 2015 so we’ve asked them to come back with more! The Modern Māori Quartet will take to the Civic Theatre’s Stage on Saturday the 26th of March with special guests Jamie McCaskill, Kali Kopae, Matu Ngaropu and Awhimai Fraser. Dress up, kick off your dancing shoes and get ready to boogie!

The 2016 programme is guaranteed to please! What will you be seeing?

MFF 2016 Programme