Now in its fourth year in the NZIFF programme, The Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts Programme features short films from New Zealand, Hawaii, Samoa and Tuvalu. Curated by Leo Koziol (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Rakaipaaka), Director of the Wairoa Māori Film Festival, with guest co-curator Craig Fasi (Niue), Director of the Pollywood Film Festival, this year's collection makes a fantastic addition to the 2015 NZIFF programme.
The 2015 Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts Are...
(Curator's comments in italics)
Taniwha NZ 2015 | 3 mins | Director: Mika (Ngāi Tahu, takatāpui) We open with waiata from Māori magician Mika, another divination, an expression of the spirit of Taniwha! — LK
Ma NZ 2014 | 16 mins | Director/Screenplay: Nikki Si’ulepa (Samoan) | Producers: Ngaire Fuata (Rotuman), Nikki Si’ulepa
When a grandmother discovers one of her precious toys is missing, she takes matters into her own hands. Ma is a no-nonsense kind of lady who knows exactly what she wants. Never underestimate Ma! — CF
Islet Tuvalu 2015 | 11 mins | Director/Producer/Screenplay: Andrew John Fakaua Ponton (Tuvaluan)
A 13-year-old boy must navigate the expectations of his ultra-conservative community. The first full Tuvalu language short drama shot in Tuvalu, Islet is a comic tale of a boy who gets hold of a naughty magazine that gets a hold on him. — LK
Coral NZ/Samoa 2015 | 15 mins | Director/Screenplay: Giacomo Martelli | Executive Producer: Maea Tamasese (Samoan) | Producers: Steve Finnigan, Grant Baker, Fuimaono Alex Wright (Samoan)
A fisherman finds something disturbing in a forbidden lagoon. Shot fully in Samoan, this native noir tale of Tangaroa intrigue, death and mystery lingers with you long after it ends. — LK
Lāhainā Noon USA 2014 | 14 mins | Director/Screenplay: Christopher Kahunahana (Hawaiian Kānaka Maoli) | Producer: Patricia Buskirk
Three short stories are woven together during a yearly tropical solar phenomenon when the sun passes directly overhead and objects cast no shadow. Hawaiians believe that during the sacred time of Lāhainā Noon the sun rests on the brain and for one minute your mana magnifies. — CF
Netta Jones NZ 2015 | 12 mins | Director: Pablo Araus Lobos | Producer/Screenplay: Rachel Morris (Te Aupōuri)
During WWII, as Awanui is on high alert fearing a Japanese invasion, 16-year-old Netta falls for a Māori soldier stationed there. Rachel Morris’ story of her grandmother beautifully depicts the landscape of Far North Awanui where a tale of wartime mixed-race love takes place. — LK
Mrs Mokemoke NZ 2015 | 9 mins | Director/Screenplay: Li Gent Xin | Producer: Tia Barrett (Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāi Tahu)
Mrs Mokemoke loves her husband, but he’s more interested in her inheritance.A mind-expanding mashup of Lindauer portraits, silent-era storytelling, film noir and Kubrickian intrigue. — LK
Elevation NZ 2015 | 14 mins | Director/Screenplay: Tihini Grant (Te Arawa) | Producer: Lara Northcroft (Te Arawa)
Trapped in an elevator, a white supremacist and a Māori gang member confront their issues and come out better men, or not. In this dark comedy, a common hate creates an unlikely union. — CF
NZIFF programmes will be available in Auckland from Tuesday 23 June, in Wellington from Friday 26 June, in Dunedin from Tuesday 7 July, and in Christchurch from Tuesday 14 July with other centres to follow.
New Zealand films at NZIFF are proudly sponsored by Resene.