“Where real human stories can be appreciated and realised by a real and appreciative audience.” Music to our ears from filmmaker Paora Te Oti Takarangi Joseph (Tātarakihi; Te Awa Tupua – Voices from the River).
"In the Māori language the word 'koha' means 'to focus upon the breath.' The breath in this instance is synonymous with the contribution we make to life and humanity as we breathe in and out. In the modern world, we tend to forget we are breathing, let alone making a contribution to humanity. The Film Festival has provided the opportunity to independent filmmakers such as myself, to realise their passion and contribution by providing a platform where real human stories can be appreciated and realised by a real and appreciative audience. Working for many years now as a youth worker and psychologist, and more recently a father, I have come to value that we are all on the same waka endeavouring to reach the close and distant shores of our own humanity. Both the calm and turbulent seas on our respective journeys are what provide us with opportunities to understand each other’s stories more deeply, and to acknowledge that we are not alone in this sharing of the breath."
Image: Tātarakihi: The Children of Parihaka