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Wellington's Maoriland Film Festival Has Dropped a Huge Lineup for 2020

This year's festival features films from 27 different countries and 92 indigenous nations. 
By Greta Yeoman
February 10, 2020
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Wellington's Maoriland Film Festival Has Dropped a Huge Lineup for 2020

This year's festival features films from 27 different countries and 92 indigenous nations. 
By Greta Yeoman
February 10, 2020
  shares

Indigenous zombie films, documentaries, short films and youth-made creations will be part of next month's Māoriland Film Festival. Held in Ōtaki, north of Wellington, the multi-day event will run from March 18–22, and feature films from 27 different countries and 92 indigenous nations. The festival will begin on Wednesday, March 18, with a pōwhiri at Raukawa Marae, while the opening night film, The Legend of Baron To'a, will screen at 8pm.

Other notable films on the lineup include NZ International Film Festival favourite Bellbird, First Nations zombie thriller Blood Quantum, Arrernte Aboriginal documentary In My Blood it Runs (which follows a ten-year-old Aboriginal boy's life in Alice Springs), and nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up, which examines racism in Canada's legal system. The film follows the high-profile close-range shooting of young Cree man Colten Boushie, after he and some friends drive onto the property of Gerald Stanley, and the subsequent acquittal of Stanley. Several members of the Boushie whānau, along with director Tasha Hubbard, are set to attend the festival, and will partake in a NATIVE Minds session after the screening.

Films have come from a wide spectrum of ages and indigenous backgrounds, including Cree (Canada), Sámi (Sweden), Yakut (Russia), Garrwa (Australia), Navajo (America), Sápmi (Northern Finland), Amis (Taiwan), Samoa, 

Also of note is the Native Slam screening on Sunday, March 22, which will provide the first viewing of works created by international indigenous filmmakers just 72 hours before the start of the festival. 

Alongside the local and international works is a two-day rangatahi (youth) film festival, curated by the festival's rangatahi filmmaking group Ngā Pakiaka. As well as putting together a collection of films for the enjoyment of many school groups that visit, the group also organises the E Tū Whānau Rangatahi Film Awards. The awards ceremony, which will be held on the morning of Thursday, March 19, aims to celebrate the work of young filmmakers, who made the films during a collection of workshops around the country. 

The Māoriland lineup even includes four virtual reality (VR) works, where filmgoers don headsets to enjoy the immersive experience. The films have been made by indigenous Amis from Taiwan, Aboriginal Australians from Budawang and D'harawal tribes, filmmakers from Coast Salish First Nations in North America, and even a brand new VR story of Māori leader Te Rangihaeata. Tickets are not needed for these screenings, just turn up at the Hub between 10am to 4pm from March 18–22 on a first-come, first-served basis.

The festival will also feature non-screen-based artistry, including Māori jewellers, a mixed-media art exhibition, traditional healers, and the festival's first rangatahi (youth) artist-in-residence. There will also be a free outdoor screening of Frozen II on March 21. The sequel to the highest-selling animated film involved consultation with Verddet, a Sámi advisory group made up of actors, historians, Sámi Parliament representatives, and elders. 

Māoriland Film Festival 2020 will run from March 18–22. For more information and the full program, visit maorilandfilm.co.nz.

Published on February 10, 2020 by Greta Yeoman

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