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Barry Barclay Honoured

Barry Barclay Honoured For Contribution To Indigenous TV Broadcasting

A pioneer of Maori television and film, the late Barry Barclay, was honoured at the closing ceremony of the first ever World Indigenous Television Broadcasting Conference in Auckland tonight (March 28).

Barclay (1944-2008; Ngati Apa), who dedicated most of his life to bringing Indigenous stories to the screen, was posthumously awarded the inaugural Te Puni Kokiri Lifetime Achievement Award for Indigenous Television Broadcasting, Te Rerenga Tahi. The new award was launched as part of WITBC '08 - a three-day gathering of indigenous television leaders from throughout the world which was hosted by New Zealand's national indigenous broadcaster, Maori Television, this week.

Maori Television chief executive Jim Mather says the award recognises the outstanding contribution that Barclay made to the Indigenous television broadcasting industry in New Zealand. It is hoped that the host nation of the next World Indigenous Television Broadcasting Conference will adopt the concept and present its own lifetime achievement award.

Barclay was the influential director of Television New Zealand's first major documentary series on Maori life and culture, Tangata Whenua (1972), on which he worked closely with the late Michael King. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he worked abroad on projects in Sri Lanka, London, Paris and Amsterdam before returning to New Zealand to write and direct The Neglected Miracle - a feature-length political documentary on the ownership of plant genetic resources, shot over two years in eight countries.

In 1987, Barclay became the first Maori to direct a dramatic feature, Ngati, which won Best Film at the Taormina Film Festival in Italy. In 1991, he wrote and directed the feature Te Rua, a fictional story about a group of Maori who set off for Berlin to claim back tribal carvings held in a museum there. His most recent film was The Feathers of Peace, a feature drama-documentary based on the Moriori people of Rekohu (the Chatham Islands).

Mr Mather says the selection of Barclay was a confidential process undertaken by a panel of independent judges, and based on the highest merits of fairness, honesty and respect to the deserving nominees. "Barry Barclay sought to shed light on the international struggles shared by Indigenous peoples to retain autonomy over their own image by offering alternatives to the largely stereotypical representations of these cultures."

The award was presented during tonight's one-hour live-to-air launch - from 8.00 PM to 9.00 PM - of Maori Television's new 100 per cent Maori language channel, Te Reo, at the SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre.


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