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The Magic Of Theatre To Come Alive On Maori Television

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The Magic Of Theatre To Come Alive On Maori Television

Maori Television is showcasing the best of Maori theatre in its ground-breaking new drama series, ATAMIRA, which starts on ANZAC Day.

The six-part series is an original concept for Maori theatre and New Zealand television that brings feature-length Maori plays to the small screen for the first time.

Boasting a dream team of New Zealand’s film industry talent – producers Ainsley Gardiner, Katie Wolfe; actors Keisha Castle-Hughes, Paolo Rotondo and Rob Mokaraka; actor/ director Rawiri Paratene; directors Tammy Davis, Rachel House - ATAMIRA is an exciting blend of creative disciplines.

The series premieres on Wednesday, 25 April at 12.10pm with the critically acclaimed Strange Resting Places, a story about a young Maori soldier and an Italian deserter in WWII. The five remaining plays will screen on Sundays at 8.30pm.

The six plays are:

• Strange Resting Places by Paolo Rotondo and Rob Mokaraka
• Awhi Tapu by Albert Belz
• Purapurawhetu by Briar Grace-Smith
• When Sun And Moon Collide by Briar Grace-Smith
• Irirangi Bay by Riwia Brown
• The Prophet by Hone Kouka

Each of the episodes provides a unique perspective of both historical and contemporary New Zealand and also features a behind-the-scenes look at the each of the plays.

ATAMIRA is the brainchild of award-winning production house Black Inc Media and Taki Rua Productions, New Zealand's leading Maori theatre company.

Executive producer Bailey Mackey says the series aims to bring theatre and contemporary Maori stories to a wider audience.

Black Inc Media specialises in Maori content programming for broader audiences and is also producing Maori Television’s ANZAC Day coverage.


ATAMIRA, Maori Television’s exciting new series of made-for-television plays starts Wednesday, 25 April at 12.10pm with Strange Resting Places by Paolo Rotondo and Rob Mokaraka.


Episode 1: Strange Resting Places – Paolo Rotondo and Rob Mokaraka

25 April, 12:10pm

Set in Italy, 1944, Strange Resting Places shines a light on the complex emotional bonds of New Zealand’s wartime history and the three universals that Maori shared with the Italians: whanau, kai, and waiata – not to mention wily cunning, a love of vino and a passion for the ladies.

Starring: Paolo Rotondo, Rob Mokaraka and Maaka Pohatu

Episode 2: Awhi Tapu – Albert Belz

29 April, 8.30pm

Awhi Tapu is a desolate forestry ghost town at the foot of the Urewera ranges. Wendyl, Sonny, Casper and Girl Girl have only each other and their fertile imaginations to rely on. Awhi Tapu heralds a new wave of writing around Maori issues and characters. It is about reconciliation, overcoming great loss and discovering all that really matters are those we love most.
Starring: Matariki Whatarau (Ka Mate), Tola Newbery, Kura Forrester, James Tito

Episode 3: Purapurawhetu – Briar Grace Smith

6 May, 8.30pm

Purapurawhetu tells the story of a small community that has a painful, unacknowledged past. A mysterious old woman comes into town one day while a young man tries to complete a tukutuku panel in time for the opening of the local marae. This woman reveals to him the hidden secrets and jealousy of times gone by; of a painful loss and why the old kaumatua is so broken. As the tale tumbles out, the tukutuku panel continues to be woven but will not be completed unless the loss is recognised.

Starring: Rawiri Paratene, Keisha Castle Hughes, Rob Mokaraka, Scott Cotter, Roimata Fox

Episode 4: When Sun and Moon Collide – Briar Grace Smith

13 May, 8.30pm

Isaac runs a tea rooms in the middle of nowhere where he watches life and cars pass by his window each day. When two of his customers share a chance meeting, he finds himself embroiled in something very sinister.
Starring: Calvin Tuteao, Xavier Horan, Kip Chapman, Maria Walker, Sophie Roberts, Ben Van Lier, Anders Falstie-Jensen

Episode 5: Irirangi Bay – Riwia Brown

20 May, 8.30pm

The consequences of a makutu (curse) laid during the New Zealand land wars haunts this passionate story. A seemingly perfect married couple of the 1950s are victims of a web of secrets that threaten their very lives.

Starring: Jamie McCaskill, Michelle Blundell

Episode 6: The Prophet – Hone Kouka

27 May, 8.30pm

Five cousins have returned to their 'home' on the East coast for another cousin's unveiling. Over the three days they are there, they grow from being kids to adults. With the backdrop of basketball, cool urban sounds and the beautiful East Coast of the north island, The Prophet is chill, funny and definitely unforgettable.

Starring: Tola Newbery, Matariki Whatarau, Juanita Hepi, Cian White, Scott Cotter, Waimihi Hotere


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