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Iconic Maori Film Screens in Hamilton

Iconic Film Screens in Hamilton

The Mâori Merchant of Venice is to screen in Hamilton on Thursday July 24th. The iconic feature film which had it’s premiere in Hamilton several years ago will be screened at Wintec (Waikato Institute of Technology) during Mâori Language Week thanks to the generosity of Producer Ruth Kaupua Panapa.

The Mâori take on Shakespeare’s 400 year old play ‘pound of flesh’ drama stars Mâori actors speaking te reo and is subtitled in easy to-read English. Directed by the late renowned Mâori Shakespearean actor and director Don C Selwyn, The Mâori Merchant of Venice began its World Premiere in the Waikato in 2002, with ticket sales going to a fund as part of the revitalisation of the language, a lifelong passion of Don Selwyn. Wintec spokesperson Anna Carter said the institute was delighted to have the opportunity to screen it in 2008 during Te Wiki o Te Reo Mâori: Mâori Language Week.

The screening, at Wintec’s City Campus Hub will be free admission. Dozens of invitees in the community had been eager to attend according to Wintec PR manager Anna Carter. Seats were still available and anyone interested could contact her at or 858 0217 to secure seats she said. She said the film was part of the institute’s week long programme of events to celebrate Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori. The institute was also publishing a newspaper, Pitoitoi in Te Wiki o Te Reo Mâori.

The cast is headed by Waihoroi Shortland as Shylock (in Maori: Hairoka) and introduces Ngarimu Daniels as Portia (Pohia) and Scott Morrison as Antonio (Anatonio). Te Rangihau Gilbert is Bassanio (Patanio), Veeshayne Armstrong is Nerissa (Nerita), Sonny Kirikiri is Gratiano (Karatiano), Reikura Morgan is Jessica (Tiehika) and Te Arepa Kahi is Lorenzo (Roroneto). Shakespeare’s play was translated into Maori in 1945 by Dr Pei Te Hurinui Jones, who wanted to make the beauty of Shakespeare’s language accessible to Maori. Don Selwyn staged it as a play in 1990 before making it into a film.

The Executive producer/director of the film was the late Don Selwyn; associate producers: the late Sir Robert Mahuta and Selwyn Muru; producer: Ruth Kaupua Panapa; director of photography: Davorin Fahn; production designer: Guy Moana; costume designer: Gavin McLean; composer: Clive Cockburn; Maori music composer: Hirini Melbourne; editor: Bella Erickson.


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