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Kiwi film director named Migrant of the Year

Media Release

September 12, 2013

Kiwi film director named Migrant of the Year

Highly-acclaimed Kiwi film director Dana Rotberg has been named ‘Migrant of the Year’ at the recent inaugural New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment (NZAMI) awards.

The NZAMI is New Zealand's leading professional association for immigration specialists and is committed to playing a major role in building the professionalism of the immigration industry in New Zealand. 

It has been a busy week for Mexican-born Ms Rotberg whose film White Lies (Tuakiri Huna) has just been nominated as New Zealand’s entry in the Academy Awards’ foreign-language category. Ms Rotberg was also honoured for her recent achievements at the Latin American New Zealand Business Council (LANZBC) luncheon with Prime Minister John Key and Mexican ambassador Leonora Rueda in Auckland on Wednesday.

Ms Rotberg wrote and directed “White Lies”, a Māori-language film based on a novella by Whale Rider author Witi Ihimaera. 

Although Ms Rotberg was already a successful movie director in Mexico, she was inspired to “seek a better life for herself and her daughter” and, after watching the movie Whale Rider, decided to migrate to New Zealand in 2004.

Since then she has immersed herself in the local culture of Māori and non-Māori New Zealand.

“She has made a unique contribution to New Zealand by creating this new film which honours the cultural heritage of this country. The way Dana has embraced not only the languages but also the culture of this country is simply remarkable,” comments June Ranson, vice-chair of NZAMI.

The NZAMI ‘Migrant of the Year’ award recognises a migrant whose personal efforts and achievements during the past year make them an exceptional migrant.  Other winners in the ANZ Bank-sponsored awards this year were:

Jimmy Lee, Alex Lee Lawyers, Mt Eden – Hall of Fame

Simon Laurent, Laurent Law, Mt Eden, Auckland – Immigration Adviser or Lawyer of the Year

Gurpreet Bassan, Director, New Start NZ, Hamilton – Award for Community Outreach

Katy Armstrong, Director Armstrong Immigration, Raglan – NZAMI Service Award

Norman Markgraaff, Founder, KiwiYo franchise, Auckland – NZAMI Business/Investor Award.


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