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Inaugural Rotorua Indigenous Film Festival Launch

Movie: “Merata : How Mum Decolonised the Screen”

to Launch Inaugural Rotorua Indigenous Film Festival

Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand - 1st – 3rd November 2018

A film about Merata Mita, the pioneering Māori filmmaker and international champion of women in indigenous film will launch the inaugural Rotorua Indigenous Film Festival (RIFF), which is taking place from the 1st - 3rd November this year. The movie was created by her youngest son, archivist Heperi Mita, in collaboration with his siblings delivers a richly personal portrait of one of a significant filmmaker in New Zealand as well as a key figure in the growth of the Maori screen industry.

Bay of Plenty Film is proudly supporting RIFF, which is the brainchild of Piripi Curtis, Mike Jonathan and Lara Northcroft of Steambox Collective, a group of Rotorua-based film makers.

Audiences will also be treated to a special screening of Maui’s Hook, produced by Karen Waaka-Tibble and an opportunity to view The Breaker Upperers, starring: Madeline Sami, James Rolleston and Jackie Van Beek.

In addition to these feature movies, over 18 Māori-led short films will screened alongside films from other indigenous people from Canada, Australia, Scandinavia and the Pacific Islands. There will be opportunities for filmmakers to network and attend workshops and social events.

The festival will open with a pōwhiri at Tama-te-kapua Marae, and will conclude with a gala function at Mitai Māori Village. Films will be screened at the Old Odeon theatre, and local hotels will be hosting national and international guests.



Festival Organiser, Mike Jonathan stated “As well as honouring Merata Mita, the Steambox Collective have organised this festival out of a desire to develop indigenous cultural and arts projects throughout New Zealand; adding to the cultural well-being of their community.” They wish to support opportunities for people to participate, to learn and to experience film; arts, media and cultural projects within New Zealand. Some of the proceeds from the Festival will be used to purchase emergency response kits for use during catastrophic weather and environmental events throughout the South Pacific Islands.


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