Māoriland Film Festival, Aotearoa’s International Indigenous film celebration and the largest Indigenous film festival in the Southern Hemisphere, has launched its stunning 2020 programme. Held in Ōtaki on the Kāpiti Coast, the 7th annual Māoriland Film Festival will present over 120 films and 84 events from 92 Indigenous nations. 

Each year this unique and innovative festival offers a range of films that engage and entertain, many of which are Southern Hemisphere and New Zealand premieres. The films are chosen by the Māoriland team who watch hundreds of hours of submitted works from around the world. 

The theme for MFF2020 is Me Reretau – Be in Balance. We offer stories that seek harmony in an increasingly discordant world. 

Stories help us make sense of our world, of our connections and our shared humanity. Access to technology has enabled Indigenous people everywhere to tell our own stories. In this new environment, Indigenous cinema continues to grow; enabling us to hear the voices of those who have an unbroken connection with the lands upon which we live.

MFF2020 will open with the festival premiere of THE LEGEND OF BARON TO’A directed by Tainui filmmaker Kiel McNaughton. Kiel and producer Kerry Warkia are the team behind last year’s stunning opening night film VAI as well as the earlier and equally impressive WARU.  

Further highlights include; the multi-award-winning First Nations Canadian documentary NÎPAWISTAMÂSOWIN: WE WILL STAND UP. 

This multi-award-winning documentary will be presented by both the filmmaker Dr Tasha Hubbard and the family at the centre of this documentary which seeks justice for the shooting of a young person. 

From indigenous Peru in South America, there is the highly acclaimed environmental documentary SEMBRADORAS DE VIDA. 

For those who love Zombie movies, we have the First Nations thriller BLOOD QUANTUM by Jeff Barnaby and Sundance Alumni Navajo filmmaker Blackhorse Lowe is back with his Doom-Rom-Com FUKRY. 

Another Southern Hemisphere feature premiere is Sámi filmmaker Amanda Kernell’s CHARTER which has just premiered at Sundance Film Festival. Amanda is also attending MFF2020.

For the first time, we will also screen films from Indigenous Taiwan. This  includes LONG TIME NO SEA, WAWA NO CIDAL, the virtual reality experience A SONG WITHIN US, and a series of brand new shorts made in January as part of the Through Our Lens rangatahi filmmaking project. 

We look forward to hosting award-winning filmmakers from around the world including those taking part in the fifth year of the NATIVE Slam, Māoriland’s 72 hour Indigenous International collaboration challenge.

Māoriand offers once again, short film programmes that fully warrant being called ‘amazing’. All of these works represent a diverse and compelling view of the world we live in. 

For those looking to further expand their horizons, there are the provocative Māoriland NATIVE Minds sessions, as well as Virtual Reality demonstrations in our Māoriland Tech Creative Hub – (M.A.T.C.H).

Special events include the Māoriland Keynote Address at Rangiātea Church, and our Free Whānau Outdoor Screening of FROZEN 2. 

Industry events include the Māoriland Pitch as well as panel discussions featuring local and international filmmakers. 

Māoriland celebrates diversity. Over half of the films in our programme have been directed by women or genderqueer filmmakers.

With our focus on providing a platform for Indigenous artists; Toi Matarau, Māoriland’s visual arts gallery includes top Māori artists with tāmoko, carvers and weavers working in and around the Māoriland Hub.

The input of Ngā Pakiaka, our young Māori filmmakers from across Aotearoa, is another way we find balance. Ngā Pakiaka are at the centre of everything we do at Māoriland: They are the building blocks of our future. Ngā Pakiaka have programmed the Māoriland Rangatahi Film Festival and will show short films made this January during Through Our Lens workshops in Taiwan and Sapmi.

The MFF2020 Red Carpet Party will feature surprise performances by some of Aotearoa’s finest musicians. We’re hoping to keep ‘who’ a secret but suffice it to say the red carpet will be a celebratory wrap up of our week-long festival.

Māoriland Film Festival is the largest annual public event on the Kāpiti Coast. It hosted 12,000 visitors in 2019, contributing $1.3 million into the local economy.

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