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Award-winning US filmmaker attends Maori film festival

Award-winning US filmmaker attends Maori film festival

25 March 2014

The US Embassy is bringing award-winning Native American filmmaker Blackhorse Lowe to showcase his internationally acclaimed film Shimásání at the inaugural Maoriland Film Festival in Otaki this week.

Lowe’s short films have been screened at several film festivals worldwide, most notably Sundance Film Festival and the First People’s Festival in Montreal, where he won Best Cinematography forShimásání.

US Embassy spokesperson David Edginton says Blackhorse’s attendance at the festival will further strengthen the event’s connection to its American equivalent, the Sundance Film Festival.

“We’re delighted to bring Blackhorse to New Zealand. Maoriland is modelled on Sundance where both Blackhorse and New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi have screened several of their feature films,” Mr Edington said.

Lowe, who is of Navajo tribe descent, is most well-known for his short narrative films that explore the differences between Native American culture and contemporary Western society.

Shimásání was featured at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010 and will screen at Maoriland Film Festival Saturday night [29 March] and Sunday afternoon [30 March].

The film is a black and white narrative which tells a story taken from his grandmother’s life as a young woman in the 1930s.

Mr Edginton says Blackhorse’s participation continues the Embassy’s engagement between New Zealand and American indigenous communities.

The Embassy recently sent five emerging Maori business leaders to the United States to visit prominent American Indian and Alaskan Native tribes to discuss trade and economics.

Lowe will be welcomed to the festival at a powhiri held at Raukawa Marae on the morning of Wednesday, March 30.

While in New Zealand, Lowe will also meet and hold workshops with students from the New Zealand Film and Television School.

Further information:
Maoriland, is New Zealand’s first international indigenous film festival held in Otaki from March 26th till March 30th. The five-day festival will showcase 30 indigenous films from New Zealand and around the world. Special guests include academy award-nominee Taika Waititi and Native American filmmaker Blackhorse Lowe.

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