My experience working as a director for ‘He Karu He Taringa’ has been an amazing one. I was blown away by everyone’s commitment and talent that they brought to the film, our actors, actresses, and extras were such a vibe to work with.
I learned so much from my Māoriland crew, who showed me how to direct and take responsibility by being in charge (sometimes I forget I’m in charge of my own film). I also had the privilege on bringing my sister to Ōtaki to play a leading role in the film.
We had a main cast of 10 people, and about 15 extras (including the CUTEST classroom of tamariki at Te Kura o Ōtaki)! With only two days to shoot, and no less than 5 locations to shoot at, we knew it would be a jam-packed two days. No matter how busy we got, the entire cast and crew were in such good spirits the whole time, and knew exactly what to do to get the job done. It was like watching a well-oiled machine!
A massive shoutout to Te Kura o Ōtaki, & Ōtaki Medical Centre for the use of their locations, and of course to all our brilliant extras who gave their time to be in the film!
While writing and directing this film, I understood how important this story is to Maori, Indigenous and other families who are struggling to understand what Autism is. To me as a filmmaker, actor and performing artist, I now know to keep telling more stories to our families, friends and the public.
I dedicate this film to all Indigenous families and children who are experiencing their own superpower they carry in life, and I also want to dedicate to my own family and friends who are in Aotearoa and overseas.
Nā Tahuaroa Ohia