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Taiao Theme For Film Festival

The theme for this year's Wairoa Maori Film Festival is "Taiao" meaning Environment. "The world currently faces huge environmental challenges, and it is in the wisdom of the Ancients - our own Maori ancestors, that a new pathway can be found," says Festival Director Leo Koziol.

Prince Harry recently released a project embracing "Kaitiakitanga" which shows how Maori values are being embraced globally. Over five days, there will be documentaries, short films, panel discussions and keynote talks on the topic of "Taiao."

"One of our guest speakers is Chris Huriwai, a Maori Vegan activist who features in the film 'Milked' screening at Kahungunu Marae," says Leo Koziol. "The film directly connects the death of many of our waterways to the industrial expansion of dairy farming across Aotearoa."

Joining Chris Huriwai at the Food Sovereignty Hui (Mana O Te Kai) will be Kay Baxter, founder and visionary creator of the Koanga Garden seed storage centre, located in Wairoa's own Marumaru valley. "Koanga Gardens wants to embrace Kaitiakitanga and work with local Iwi to embrace seed storage and self reliance in the context of regenerative agriculture."

The Food Sovereignty Wananga takes place 10 am to 4 pm at Kahungunu Marae, Nuhaka, on Friday June 3. It is hoped to fundraise for the establishment of a seed storing Pataka at Kahungunu Marae in Nuhaka, sharing seed up and down the East Coast.

Also occurring at the marae is the Kahungunu Marae open day on Saturday June 4th and the WIFT Mana Wahine High Tea on Sunday June 5th.

Festival Director Leo Koziol has established a new film production house called Nuhaka Film that will be nurturing filmmaking and storytelling in the community. The first "Camera in the Community" documentary was filmed at a weaving wananga in Nuhaka this past weekend. "Taiao is so special to us, it is integral to Toi Maori," says Leo Koziol.

Taiao Films at Wairoa Maori Film Festival include GATHER, THE SEEDS OF VANDANA SHIVA, ROHE KOREPOREPO THE SWAMP THE SACRED PLACE, MILKED and FOOD FOR THE REST OF US. There will be a special presentation of Barry Barclay's THE NEGLECTED MIRACLE presented by Nga Taonga Sound and Vision.

All the details of the 17th annual Wairoa Maori Film Festival can be found at: www.maorimovies.com

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