HOLLYWOOD HULA ::: Pacific Islander Film Hui

The Strength of Water

Posted in Festivals, Film by multinesia on January 26, 2009


The debut feature film from acclaimed Maori writer Briar Grace-Smith (Nga Puhi) and kiwi director Armagan Ballantyne premiers at Rotterdam International Film Festival.

Set in a rural Maori community in the Hokianga region of Northland in Aotearoa (New Zealand), The Strength of Water is the story of Maori twins Kimi and Melody, who are forced apart when a mysterious stranger arrives in their small town.

The film features Nancy Brunning (Crooked Earth, When Loves Comes) and a cast of locals. The project was developed at the Sundance and Binger workshops.

Let My Whakapapa Speak

Posted in Festivals, Film by hollywoodhula on October 15, 2008

In a world where hundreds of indigenous languages are dead or facing extinction there is a bright, shining hope: Kohanga Reo, Maori “language nests”.

Veteran filmmaker Tainui Stephens documents the ground-breaking indigenous educational movement, and the woman behind it, in a feature documentary screening at ImageNative, the Toronto native arts festival.

Kohanga Reo is based on the simple but powerful principle of totally immersing pre-school children in native language and values. After 25 years, the program is recognized worldwide as a turning point for revival of Maori language and culture and an inspiration for language survival programs worldwide.

The model has been replicated successfully in other native communities, including Hawaiian Punana Leo.

Let My Whakapapa Speak
16 Oct 08, 1:00PM
Al Green Theatre

Let My Whakapapa Speak – On Maori Television

They are the two magic words in the story of how a struggling Maori language was pulled back from the brink of extinction: ‘kohanga reo’.

Rain of the Children

Posted in Film, People by hollywoodhula on June 11, 2008


Tuhoe Country Docu-drama

Kiwi director Vincent Ward (Map of the Human Heart, What Dreams May Come) revisits his 1978 documentary, about a Maori kuia, in his latest feature.

In Spring One Plants Alone was Ward’s second film – a verite portrait of Te Puhi, an 80 year-old woman caring for her schizophrenic adult son in rural Urewera.

30 years later Ward returns to the scene to re-envision her story as a cursed Tuhoe princess.

The 2008 version is a personal docu-drama, narrated by Ward, melding dramatic re-enactments with original footage.

The cast includes Once Were Warriors alumnae Rena Owen, Temuera Morrison and Taungaroa Emile.

Rain of the Children premiered at Sydney Film Festival.

Rain of the Children trailer

A Tale of the Tuhoe

could give Maori on both sides of the Tasman a new insight in to their past

Vincent Ward unveils latest long-term labour of love
New Zealand Herald

Australian-based Maori performed a passionate powhiri on the red carpet

Vincent Ward’s ghost story
Sunday Star Times

epic act of “director’s cut” reworking

Wairoa Maori Film Festival

Posted in Events, Festivals, Film by hollywoodhula on May 30, 2008

Little Town – Big Films

Wairoa, Aotearoa

Wairoa Maori Film Festival
Matariki Queen’s Birthday Weekend
30 May – 2 June 2008

The tiny town of Wairoa (population around 4,000) on the East Coast of Aotearoa’s North Island opens its third Maori film festival with tributes to indigenous film pioneers, classic features, and a feast of international and local native films.

The festival features films by Maori film elders Barry Barclay and Don Selwyn, who died during the past year.

Opening night kicks off with the kiwi comedy classic Came a Hot Friday, starring Maori comic icon Billy T. James (1948-1991) and Don Selwyn (1936 – 2007) in an early acting role.

Audiences will see rare screenings of Barry Barclay’s feature documentary The Neglected Miracle, exploring indigenous genetic conservation initiatives around the world, and episodes from his landmark television series Tangata Whenua.

Recent dramatic features include Native American filmmaker Sterlin Harjo’s Four Sheets to the Wind, Taika Waititi’s Eagle vs Shark and Peter Burger’s The Tattooist, alongside older work such as Sam Pillsbury’s Crooked Earth and Gaylene Preston’s Ruby & Rata.

Closing night feature is Geoff Murphy’s classic Utu starring Anzac Wallace and the late great Wi Kuki Kaa.

Short film programs include Pollywood 08, a collection of shorts by Pacific Islander filmmakers, A Little Bit of Black Business from native Australia, Maori Short Films, and the Matariki Short Film Collection, an eclectic mix of seven indigenous shorts from Aotearoa, USA and Australia.

Wairoa Maori Film Festival goes on the road to Auckland, Wellington and Taumaranui later this year.

World Indigenous TV Conference

Posted in Events by hollywoodhula on March 24, 2008


Maori TV’s Julian Wilcox pitches WITBC

Maori Television hosts the first gathering of global indigenous TV executives in Aotearoa 26–28 March 2008. The World Indigenous Television Broadcasting Conference (WITBC) kicks off in Auckland with three days of presentations by broadcasters from Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Taiwan, United States, Australia, Wales, and Aotearoa.

WITBC ’08 inaugurates an international association of indigenous TV broadcasters and presents its first lifetime achievement award.

Maori TV launches its new Maori language channel, Te Reo, to coincide with the event.

NZ: Pacific representation ‘misses out’ at indigenous media conference
26 Mar 08

Just two Pacific Islands will be represented at the opening today of the world’s first indigenous television network conference.

Fiji and Hawaii are the only delegates from 22 Pacific Island states and territories at WIBTC 08 …

Registration costs at the conference are around NZ$1600, raising barriers to Pacific Islanders already facing high airfares from remote communities.”

Jason Brown for Pacific Media Watch at Pacific Media Centre

Barry Barclay Death

Posted in Memorial, People by multinesia on February 19, 2008

Barry Barclay

1944 – 2008

Kiwi film-maker Barry Barclay dies
Stuff 19 Feb 08
Prominent New Zealand film-maker Barry Barclay – the first Maori to direct a feature film – has died of a heart attack aged 63.

Filmmaker Barry Barclay dies
TV One 19 Feb 08
The New Zealand Film Commission says Barclay played a major role as a passionate advocate of indigenous voices telling their own stories.

Kua hinga te totara, te kauri …
The mighty trees of the forest have fallen.
Barry (Bazza) Barclay passed away last night in Opononi, Hokianga.
The last of my mentors (and the first) is gone!
Aue … they are such big shoes we can never fill.

My first ever job on a feature film was Barry’s and what a crazy ride that was. He was a mentor for me too. Haere, haere, haere e te matua, hoki atu ki o mātua tipuna …

Barry’s mana’o greatly influenced how we approached and spoke about documentary-making (we don’t “take” anyone’s picture; they give it to us). Because of him we even write up our release forms and clearances differently (who really owns the images on tape?).


Memorial 2007

Posted in Memorial, People by hollywoodhula on December 23, 2007


American Indian producer/director Phil Lucas and Maori actor/director Don Selwyn were pioneers in the native film movement.

Both were prolific filmmakers and teachers who broke new ground and mentored the next generation of talent.

Phil Lucas
1932 – 2007

Post your tribute for Phil here.

Don Selwyn
1936 – 2007

Post your tribute for Don here.