THROUGH OUR LENS

FILMMAKING IN TE AO TAKETAKE

THROUGH OUR LENS is the Māoriland leadership and pathway initiative for aspiring Māori filmmakers aged 14-24.

Through Our Lens is connecting Indigenous rangatahi globally, enabling them to create screen stories from their perspective as Indigenous young people for the world.

Rangatahi (young Māori) are selected from around New Zealand to lead filmmaking workshops for their peers in other Indigenous nations.

These positive collaborations result in short films that are then screened at film festivals, schools and communities around the world.

Through Our Lens gives rangatahi a platform to share their stories and provides an entry point to further training and employment opportunities in the film industry.

  • COOK ISLANDS 2018

    I didn’t really know what to expect prior to our travels. I knew the itinerary and things I may have to do before going but I had no idea how fun it would all be. I expected alot of editing in a dark room and late nights spent putting the film together but I didn’t expect to learn so much from it. I was so surprised with myself for being able to initiate two workshops with my fellow team and make two successful films in a couple of days with kids you basically just met! I’ve never done anything like Through Our Lens before and I loved the challenge of it. There are so many highlights to choose from but one highlight would be getting to see the look on all the rangatahi’s faces when they see the final product. It’s so fulfilling to see their reaction to what they have accomplished. Some of them came up to me afterwards to say that they want to be the next big director or that they have found their new passion and I think that’s the best thing to ever enforce. I myself would like to delve deeper in to more projects like Through Our Lens as I am passionate about not only telling but hearing about each and every person’s stories and/or experiences. Through Our Lens gives people the opportunity to do that and I think that’s amazing!!!

    Paeone Thatcher
    Rangatahi Film Leader - Cook Islands
    18 years old
  • SAMOA 2017

    It was a privilege to have worked with some amazing rangatahi from Samoa! The students we worked with had so much heart, solid story ideas, and so much passion for filmmaking. Some students had a cheeky, mischievous and infectious way about them which I was immediately drawn to and excited to work with, as a reflection of my own light-hearted and cheeky personality. All of the students we worked with had amazing spirit and were very hyped to learn about filmmaking and the skeletal framework behind the various roles of filmmaking. I learnt so much in the three days of working with them. I learnt what it means to be a part of a community. I learnt about the importance of acknowledging your tūpuna and the surrounding whenua particularly in Samoan culture, and I particularly learnt that things may not always go to plan, but that doesn’t mean you give up.

    Aydriannah Tuiali'i
    Rangatahi Film Leader - Samoa
    21 years old

YOUNG MĀORI FILMMAKERS AGED 14 – 24 ARE SELECTED FROM AROUND NEW ZEALAND TO LEAD FILMMAKING WORKSHOPS FOR THEIR PEERS IN OTHER INDIGENOUS NATIONS.

WORKING TOGETHER OVER 2-3 DAYS, EACH WORKSHOP ENABLES YOUNG PEOPLE TO CREATE SHORT FILMS THAT TELL STORIES OF COMMUNITY AND INDIGENOUS IDENTITY FROM A YOUTH PERSPECTIVE, ENABLING THE NEXT GENERATION OF INDIGENOUS FILMMAKERS.

  • Samoa 2017

    Creating films with the students was such a gift. The random assortment of skills each of them brought to the table made it really fun to work out how best to utilize the snippets of technical knowledge that they had and create with them a cohesive final product. For example, by providence there was a 16-year old student who was interested in scoring films, and happened to be using the exact same software as me! It was fantastic to be able to share all of the tricks that I had learned in my years of using the program, and he actually taught a fantastic sidechaining trick that I’ll take away with me for my next projects. Obviously, the environment and sightseeing was amazing. Floating over giant clams and through coral reefs was pretty humbling as well as interesting, and our group made the most of the one GoPro that we brought with us. The tropical flora and the welcoming reception we were given by the locals really made us feel at home and we were soon totally comfortable with sharing our knowledge with everyone we met through the workshops. Overall, a fantastic experience on which I would happily embark on again.

    Nikau Wi Neera
    Rangatahi Film Leader - Samoa
    18 years old
  • HAWAI'I 2017

    I was shocked by the culture difference in between the two countries both New Zealand and Hawaii. Even though we are so close in relation we are both very different. I didn’t realise we were so culturally rich, in Tikanga, Reo, Pakiwaitara etc. So embrace as much culture as you can. This has set up some future goals for me, it has grown a hunger in me to embrace my culture and also the cultures of other motu around the world. One of my future goals now is to be able to help other motu embrace and learn about their cultures which results in them learning and embracing themselves.

    Philadelphia Metekingi
    Rangatahi Film Leader - Hawai'i
    16 years old
  • TAHITI 2017

    I expected the students of Tahiti to have very little experience in film, I knew they would have great ideas, but I was surprised how skilled the students were in audio, editing and camera. Some students had already created films which surprised me more. A highlight for me, was seeing the joy on their faces. How in only 3 days we managed to connect with complete strangers purely because it was a safe environment, collaborative and everyone gave it their full attention. Tears were shed when we left, because of how we were all touched by the experience of creating amazing stories. I only wish we had spent more time with them. Hopefully I can go back with this same kaupapa, because I am enlightened and inspired to create films of my own. This project has unlocked a passion that I knew I had, I just needed a push, and a aeroplane ticket in the right direction. I think this trip was special, because we could work a completely different culture, they had similar stories to us, but were affected by it in a different way, which gave our stories a deeper and more rounded meaning. It was perfect.

    Sonny Ngatai
    Rangatahi Film Leader - Tahiti
    21 years old
  • Hawai'i 2017

    I found it really challenging. I expected to feel more competent and under less heat to deliver a strong final film. I realised how many skills I lack in the technical side of film making. I was really inspired by my team’s level of generosity and support in order to fulfil and realise the potential of our ideas for the film E Tama Mai. The people in our group went above and beyond in order to help me and the rest of the team realise our project. I will never forget that. It was a really special experience to be a part of a whanau, and to be able to meet such incredible artists and entrepreneurs who are passionate about telling native stories. I came Way from the wānanga eager to learn more about film making, techniques of editing and the importance of making decisions that serve the telling of a story. Although it was challenging, it was enormously enriching and I am so, so grateful to have had the opportunity to be apart of told and the Māoriland whānau. Thank you so much xxx

    Ana Scotney
    Rangatahi Film Leader - Hawai'i
    22 years old