Five days of cinematic delights – The Gisborne Herald
Posted May 31, 2022 1:54 PM
IT’S A five-day long weekend in Wairoa and Nuhaka, as the 17th annual Wairoa Maori Film Festival hits the big screen from Thursday evening.
The venues for most events are the Gaiety Theater in Wairoa and the Kahungunu Marae in Nuhaka.
While the festival proper kicks off on the weekend, events begin Thursday at the Kahungunu Marae with powhiri at 3 p.m., short films at 5 p.m. and a screening of “Gather,” a film about Native American food sovereignty, at 7 p.m.
Food sovereignty is defined as the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced by environmentally sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agricultural systems. This is a major theme of this year‘s festival.
It is the subject of several films and a panel discussion at Kahungunu Marae on Friday. The Food Sovereignty Wananga – Mana O Te Kai runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with screenings of “Milked” – an expose of New Zealand’s dairy industry – and “The Neglected Miracle”, a classic 1985 Kiwi documentary described by a review at the time as “a chilling and prescient study of the erosion of plant genetic diversity in the Third World by seed companies working for First World profit”.
Hineamaru Ropati, Kay Baxter and Chris Huriwai from Koanga Gardens will be present to talk about food sovereignty issues.
The documentary film “The Seeds of Vandana Shiva”, about the famous Indian and Gandhian eco-activist Vandana Shiva and her work in the field of plant rights, seed saving and social justice, will be released on Saturday,
Each year, a highlight of the festival is the screening of short and feature films made by Maori in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and this year is no exception.
There are offerings from Pita Turei, Miria George, and Sky Hopinka, among others. Kath Akuhata-Brown, a former reporter for the Gisborne Herald, also has a film, “Washday” at the festival.
Locally made shorts will be paired with shorts from Indigenous filmmakers around the world.
Friday is public opening night with a celebration at the Gaiety Theater in Wairoa. The Native Now! follows on Saturday, also at Gaiety, and then on Sunday, Mana Wahine High Tea will be celebrated at Kahungunu Marae.
In addition to the full film weekend at the cinema and marae, the Toi Nuhaka Art Gallery will hold events, films and exhibitions around the clock, and there will be a one-day pop-up festival lounge at the Wairoa Maori Tennis Club at Wairoa.
For more information about the festival, go to https://maorimovies.com/
SHORTS: Te Kohe Tuhaka in ‘Washday’ by Kath Akuhata-Brown, screening at Mana Maori Shorts, 8pm this Saturday at the Gaiety Theatre, Wairoa. Photo provided