Indigenous film festival in Taranaki for first time over Waitangi weekend

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NPDC’s Govett-Brewster Art Gallery | Len Lye Centre is partnering with Wairoa Māori Film Festival to present the KIRIATA MĀORI Cinema Showcase in Taranaki for the first time over Waitangi weekend from 2 to 6 February.

The showcase will present a stunning selection of documentaries, short films and moving image artworks made by Māori filmmakers, with a programme specially curated by Wairoa Māori Film Festival Director Leo Koziol (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Rakaipaaka) to respond to the Gallery’s acclaimed exhibition Te Hau Whakatonu – A Series of Never-Ending Beginnings, which closes on 11 February.

“Kiriata Māori 2024 [Kiriata means ‘film’ or ‘cinema’] is a special programme for the Wairoa Māori Film Festival, as the full festival was unable to go ahead last year because of the impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle on the East Coast. Many of the planned films will now be able to screen at the KIRIATA MĀORI Showcase,” Leo says.

"The showcase comprises two feature documentaries and 35 short films and moving image art works, all directed and/or written by Māori screen artists, to provide a 'survey' of the state of Māori cinema today."

Partners to the event include CIRCUIT Artist Moving Image Aotearoa, which has commissioned the Rematriation moving image artwork programme curated by Tanya Te Miringa Te Rorarangi Ruka, CIRCUIT’s Kaitiaki Kiriata for 2024, a new curatorial position which helps present artist video in contexts framed by Te Ao Māori.

There is also a special programme of short films by filmmakers who whakapapa to Taranaki, Me He Maunga Teitei, including films by Aroha Awarau, Katie Wolfe and Rachel House. A special focus work is Heather Randerson's Te Whenua Tupu Ora, a film by the Hokianga-based Niniwa Collective which saw Kauri die-back images projected onto the sand dunes of the Hokianga.

The Gallery has welcomed the festival as an important addition to the year-round film festival programme presented in the Len Lye Cinema.

“Being able to support the flood-hit community associated with the Wairoa Māori Film Festival and elevating and championing all forms of Toi Māori is important to the Gallery,” says NPDC Ringatohu Cultural Experiences Dr Zara Stanhope.

“The alignment to Te Hau Whakatonu, which presents Toi Māori from the Gallery’s collection is critical, and we look forward to these films extending kōrero around the collection and current practice of Taranaki Iwi artists, as well as inspiring the whole Taranaki community.”

The KIRIATA MĀORI Cinema Showcase is on at the Len Lye Centre Cinema from 2-6 Feb 2024. For screening times and ticket purchases, please visit the Gallery website or call into the Gallery store.

Fast Facts

  • Govett-Brewster Art Gallery opened in 1970 and was founded by Monica Brewster.
  • Len Lye Centre opened in July 2015 and is a joint initiative by NPDC, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and the Len Lye Foundation.
  • The Gallery attracts around 60,000 visitors a year, with most coming from outside the district.
  • The centre has reached international acclaim and won awards for its design.


Image: A still from Katie Wolfe's (Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Mutunga), This is Her, 2008