Launching the Matariki Film Festival (Press Release)

LAUNCHING THE MATARIKI FILM FESTIVAL 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wairoa, Aotearoa New Zealand. Tuesday March 25th 2008

Te Roopu Whakaata Maori I Te Wairoa Inc. is proud to announce that in 2008 it will be launching the national MATARIKI FILM FESTIVAL. Commencing Queen’s Birthday weekend with the four-day Wairoa Maori Film Festival, a travelling Maori and indigenous film showcase will then be presented during the Matariki period to audiences in Auckland, Wellington and Taumarunui.

This year, Wairoa will be a “portal” for Maori and indigenous film-makers as, for the first time, a special selection of the programme from the festival will travel on to Auckland, Wellington and Taumarunui. Overseas guest film-makers will be invited to attend these special screenings. In Taumarunui, a special showcase of Don Selwyn’s will be presented to local audiences to celebrate the life of their home-town film maker.

The launch of the Matariki Film Festival will support various regional initatives as the Matariki momentum grows. Recent research by Tourism New Zealand has found that Matariki and the Pleiades resonate highly in indigenous cultures worldwide, and that there is the potential for a festival to celebrate arts and culture of indigenous people from New Zealand and around the world.

“The Wairoa Maori Film Festival is pushing boundaries to present a national showcase of film and media arts at the forefront of Maori and global indigenous cultures,” says Festival Chairperson Huia Koziol. “This year Wairoa will be bringing a national Matariki film showcase to the whole of New Zealand, with the potential for this travelling programme to expand both in content and locality each year.”

The Wairoa Maori Film Festival will be making special invitation to representatives of indigenous film festivals from around the world to participate in future festivals, including ImagineNative in Canada, the Sami Film Festival in Finland, the Nepal Indigenous Film Archive and the Rapa Nui Film Festival (Easter Island, Chile).

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Wairoa Maori Film Festival Dates:
MATARIKI QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY WEEKEND
Gaiety Cinema and Taihoa Marae, Wairoa
Friday 30th May to Monday June 2nd 2008

TRAVELLING MATARIKI FILM FESTIVAL SHOWCASE:
MIC Toi Rerehiko & Academy Cinema, Auckland, June 2008 (final dates TBC)
Paramount Cinema & NZ Film Archive Mediaplex, Wellington, June 2008 (final dates TBC)
Regent Cinema, Taumarunui, July 2008 (final dates TBC)

AUTHORISED BY: Te Roopu Whakaata Maori I Te Wairoa – Wairoa Maori Film Festival Society Inc., C/- Box 85, Nuhaka, Wairoa District, Aotearoa New Zealand * Phone 06 837 8854 * Email: maorimovies@gmail.com

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