The best film in Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts as judged by an international jury, will receive the Wellington UNESCO City of Film Award for Best Film. This $3000 cash award will be presented at the in-cinema screening at Roxy Cinema in Wellington on Sunday 2 August.
The winner of an audience vote from the online audience and those at the ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland and Roxy Cinema, Wellington screenings will receive the Ngā Whanaunga CineMāori Audience Award. The $1000 cash award has been sponsored by CineMāori, the new online platform for Māori cinema. The winner will be announced on Sunday 2 August at the Festival closing ceremony, along with the Audience Award for NZ’s Best competition.
The inaugural Wellington UNESCO City of Film Award for Best Film also hails the beginning of a three year partnership between Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival and the Wellington UNESCO City of Film office which will promote cinema in the region with particular focus on Māori and Pasifika film and makers, film heritage and youth.
Wellington Mayor Andy Foster says Wellington UNESCO City of Film is proud to support Ngā Whanaunga at this year’s film festival. “Being designated an official UNESCO City of Film is acknowledgment of the abundant screen culture and creativity in Wellington.
“The aim is to leverage the designation and membership of the UNESCO Creative Cities global network to promote Māori and Pacific filmmakers on the world stage. Wellington UNESCO City of Film’s partnership with the film festival is one of the first steps towards this goal.“
Also announced today is the three-person jury for Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts: Festival Director Marten Rabarts says: “ We chose to invite a jury from among the worldwide whānau of UNESCO Cities of Film and found our international Jurors in Mumbai and Sarajevo both cities which received the UNESCO designation at the same time as Wellington in October 2019.
“Elma Tataragic, screenwriter (God Exists, Her Name is Petrunya – NZIFF19) and head programmer of the Feature and Shorts Competitions – Sarajevo Film Festival (Sarajevo – UNESCO City Of Film 2019), will be joined by Meenakshi Shedde, renowned film critic and Berlin Film Festival delegate selector for South Asia from Mumbai (Mumbai – UNESCO City of Film 2019 ), and from Wellington we are honoured to have Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School director and well-known New Zealand actor and arts professional Tanea Heke (Ngā Puhi) to complete the Jury for this prestigious new award.”
The seven films in the Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts have been 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.
The films are Purea (director: Kath Akuhata-Brown), Forgive Me (director: Chelsea Winstanley), Kapaemahu (director: Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson), Emily (director Mark Papalii), I Am The Moment (director: Robert George), Money Honey (director: Isaac Knights-Washbourn), and Gurl (director: Mika X).
Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts will screen in-cinema in Auckland, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Wellington and Dunedin, and has its online premiere on Monday 27 July and will be available for online rental from Tuesday 28 July until Sunday 2 August. Q&As with the filmmakers will be at the ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland and Roxy Cinema, Wellington screenings with a recording of the Auckland Q&A available online.