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NZ Short Films Shine – On Maori Television!


NZ Short Films Shine – On Maori Television!

Short films have long been the small but lovely gems in the crown of the New Zealand film industry. The show that celebrates that film genre – ITI POUNAMU – returns to screens on Tuesday November 11 at 9.30 PM.

Presenters Ainsley Gardiner (Ngati Awa) and Tearepa Kahi (Tainui) are back for a second season to showcase some of the finest short films ever made in this country, and meet the filmmakers themselves.

Each host has defined turf within the programme that plays to their strengths.

Gardiner’s role is to interview featured directors on location and in the studio, to find out about the process that goes into an end product, their experiences, trials and tribulations. Kahi, a fluent reo speaker, will provide a weekly wrap up and opinion piece on what’s happening in the industry, reviews and news.

Both the presenters are established film-makers whose stars are on the rise.

Gardiner produced Oscar-nominated short film TWO CARS ONE NIGHT, and feature film Eagle v Shark, both directed by Taika Waititi. She will also produce his next feature – THE VOLCANO, to go into production next year.

Kahi is a director, whose short film Taua features in the first episode of this series. He is currently executive producing a stream of short films for the NZ Film Commission.

There are no hard and fast rules about what makes a short film work. Different audiences have their own tastes, and ITI POUNAMU acknowledges that by covering a wide variety of critically-acclaimed films. Some of the films this season include:

TAUA, by Tearepa Kahi, about a war party that abducts an enemy leader, then ties him to a waka taua and carries him home. It explores the qualities of leadership, compassion and empathy.

CARGO, by Leo Woodhead, is filmed in Prague and portrays a young runaway who narrowly avoids being sold as a human slave as he crosses the border. In a remarkable moment of pity, he is spared – but he doesn’t get off scot-free. This film is about what people do to survive, and how they can lose the essence of who they are in the process.

SIGNING OFF, an early short film by Robert Sarkies (Out of the Blue). A quirky story about a radio host who never gets any requests, until his last night, when all sorts of technical things go horribly wrong.

Others include THIS IS HER, by Katie Wolfe, and STILL LIFE, by Sima Urale.

“It’s the only programme where New Zealand short films get an airing on a television channel,” says ITI POUNAMU producer Michele Bristow. “And we get to talk to the people who made these films. For some of them, their experiences have shaped how they approach film-making generally, and they like to be able to talk about their work in the industry.”

A sensational season of New Zealand short films, ITI POUNAMU screens on Maori Television from Tuesday November 11 at 9.30 PM.


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