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Lifetime Achievement Award To Ramai Hayward

Lifetime Achievement Award To Ramai Hayward

THE ORGANISERS of the inaugural Wairoa Maori Film Festival are today proud to announce that a Lifetime Achievement Award is to be presented to Maori actress and film maker Ramai Hayward. The award will be presented at this year's Wairoa Maori Film Festival, June 2nd to 6th 2005, and will be the inaugural presentation of an annual prize for outstanding contribution to Maori film-making.

"With the generous assistance of the New Zealand Film Archive, we will be presenting a near-complete retrospective of Ramai Hayward's work, both onscreen and behind the camera," said Festival Director Leo Koziol. "Ramai Hayward was New Zealand's first Maori film-maker. In her career, Ramai Hayward's film production roles included actress, scriptwriter and camerawoman."

The Wairoa Maori Film Festival Society Inc. is proud to include a retrospective of the works of Ramai Hayward. For over thirty years, Ramai Hayward worked with her husband Rudall Hayward on features, documentaries and dramatic works.

In 1940, the then Ramai Te Miha starred in Rudall Hayward’s remake of “Rewi’ s Last Stand”. Ramai married Rudall Hayward soon after, and their works in the 1950s included documentaries both here (“The Song of the Wanganui”) and abroad (“Inside Red China”).

Rudall and Ramai Hayward's collaborative work concluded in 1972 with “To Love A Maori”, a documentary-drama exploring the tensions of life as young Maori migrated to our urban centres. "To Love A Maori" stars Wairoa local Val Irwin, as well as Ramai Hayward as his aunty. Following her husband's death, Ramai Hayward continued to act, including the role of grandmother on "The Billy T. James Show" in 1990.

"Presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Ramai Hayward will be the centrepiece of our Maori Film Festival," said Festival Director Leo Koziol. "A special double feature comprising 'Rewi's Last Stand' and 'To Love A Maori' will be the centrepiece to the retrospective showcase of Ramai Hayward's life work."

The centrepiece screening will occur at 5.30 p.m., Friday June 3rd, at Wairoa's Gaiety Cinema. Ramai Hayward has been invited to attend, to be accompanied by Vapi Kupenga and Titewhai Harawira as special guests.

"We are humbled that Ramai Hayward is planning to attend, and presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award seems certain to be a highlight of the Wairoa Maori Film Festival," said Leo Koziol.

ABOUT THE MAORI FILM FESTIVAL

Wairoa's first Maori Film Festival will be held this Queen's Birthday weekend to mark the commencement of Matariki, the "Maori New Year".

The Wairoa Maori Film Festival will be held at the Gaiety Theatre and other venues, Matariki Weekend, June 2nd to 6th 2005. The Opening Night Festival Gala is June 2nd 2005.

"We are hoping for the Maori Film Festival to be a premiere event on the Aotearoa arts calendar," says Festival Director Leo Koziol. "The recent securing of the National Geographic Society as our international partner means it will be a showcase for both the best in Maori film-making and international indigenous film-making." Bird Runningwater of the Sundance Institute will also be attending, presenting a showcase of indigenous North American and Pacific works.

Patrons of the Wairoa Maori Film Festival include Lee Tamahori, Rena Owen, Merata Mita, Cliff Curtis, Witi Ihimaera, Don Selwyn, and Dame Georgina Kirby.

Funding support for the festival has been secured from the NZ Film Commission, NZ Ministry of Economic Development, Creative NZ Te Waka Toi, Wairoa District Council, Te Puni Kokiri and NZ Trade & Enterprise.

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