Ngā Whanaunga Maori Pasifika Shorts 2013

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Selected by the Wairoa Māori Film Festival, this lively collection showcases recent shorts by Māori and Pasifika filmmakers.

Director: Various
Year: 2013
Running time: 83 mins
Censor Rating: R16 - drug use, offensive language

‘Ngā Whanaunga 2013’ once again presents a full harvest of brand new Māori Pasifika films: six from up-and-coming Māori directors in Aotearoa, and one from Torres Strait Island-Samoan director S.F. Tusa in Australia. ‘Whanaunga’ means family and connectedness, the web of whakapapa (ancestry) we share right across the Pacific. — Leo Koziol (Ngāti Rakaipaaka, Ngāti Kahungunu), Festival Director, Wairoa Māori Film Festival.

Leo’s comments on each film appear in italics.

The One Armed Bandit

NZ 2013. Director/Producer: Michael Reihana With: Pete Smith, Wylie Dean, Karlos Drinkwater. 13 mins

A community works in novel ways to fight the scourge of pokies. Edgy, fun and crazy. Michael Reihana delivers a visual trip overflowing with originality.


NZ 2013. Director: Tamati Ihaka (Te Aupōuri, Tūhoe, Tūwharetoa) Producer: Steve Taylor With: Kahurangi Carter, everisingsun. 14 mins

Marama is lost in her everyday life and is transported back into the past to remember what is important. An otherworldly spiritual journey tells us our ancestors’ lives reflect within us.

Dog on Duty

NZ 2013. Director: Lennie Hill (Ngāpuhi) Producer: Tania Hill (Ngāpuhi), Ronel Schodt, Mark Ruka With: Rob Mokaraka. 7 mins

A hardened car thief’s conscience is challenged by a small dog. Hilarious, quirky and cute. Rob Mokaraka shines in this fascinating fable.

Wide Eyed

NZ 2013. Director: Catherine Bisley (Ngāpuhi (Te Kapotai, Ngāti Hao)) Producer: Catherine Fitzgerald With: Brooklyn Double, Ben Agate. 11 mins

Jade arrives in her new rural home and struggles to make sense of her isolated setting. Catherine Bisley delivers a quiet, dark and moody reflection on rural isolation.

I’m Going to Mum’s

NZ 2013. Director: Lauren Jackson Producers: Andrew Cochrane, Jeremy Macey With: Duane Wichman-evans, Jarod Rawiri, Narelle Ahrens Festivals: Berlin, San Francisco 2013. 13 mins

When Jacob’s divorced parents dress him in ridiculous clothes to spite each other, he resorts to desperate fashion measures to assert his identity. The light of frustration shines in young Jacob’s eyes as he is bounced like a ping-pong between Mum and Dad’s.


Australia 2012. Director: S.F. Tusa (Torres Strait Islander/Samoan) Producer: Andrew Arbuthnot With: Jeremy Ambrum, Naomi Bowly, Martin Sacks. 10 mins

A delightful song-and-dance romance between a bashful teenage boy and the publican’s daughter. A charming and psychedelic musical journey into a young boy’s mind.


NZ 2013. Director: Renae Maihi (Ngāpuhi (Ngāti Whakaeke), Te Arawa (Ngāti Whakaue)) Producers: Sandra Richmond, Renae Maihi With: Jahna Batt, Aroha Hathaway. 15 mins

Sometimes memories never fade, they just fly away for a time waiting for the right moment to return. A woman reflects on the tough emotional journey she went through as a teen.