MAORILAND FILM FESTIVAL 2019 | Documentaries


Venue Location

Native Peoples - Global Films

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Running Time: 20 - 24 March 2019

Venue Location

Native Peoples - Global Films

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Māoriland Film Festival is Aotearoa’s international Indigenous Film Festival. Each March, Māoriland brings Indigenous films and their creators to Ōtaki for five days of screenings, workshops, seminars and more! 

Pakipūmeka (Documentaries) at MFF2019

Moananuiākea: One Ocean. One Canoe. One People.
Thursday 22 March, 8 pm, Ngā Purapura

In 1976, a voyaging canoe sparked a cultural revival that quickly spread throughout Polynesia, breathing life into ancient myths and legends. More than four decades later, Hōkūleʻa continues to inspire a new generation of navigators and voyagers to gather their courage and sail beyond the horizon of the Pacific. 

Haka Puai Te Kainga (Eating Up Easter)
Friday 22 March, 10 am, The Civic Theatre

In a cinematic letter to his son, native Rapanui (Easter Island) filmmaker Sergio Mata’u Rapu explores the modern dilemma of their people who risk losing everything to the globalizing effects of tourism.

Preceded by short film - Run As One - The Journey of the Front Runners

In 1967, 10 Indigenous boys ran the Pan Am torch 800 km, from Minneapolis to the opening ceremonies in Winnipeg. 51 years later they reunite to reflect on their journey. 

Ohiyesa: The Soul of an Indian
Friday 22 March, 12 pm, The Civic Theatre

Kate Beane, an urban, Dakota scholar, and her family trace the remarkable life of their celebrated relative, Ohiyesa (Charles Eastman), an important author, activist, lecturer and one of the first Native American doctors. 

Preceded by short - Phulsiri

One and a half months after the devastating earthquake reduced an entire village to rubble, and a ten-year-old girl longs for normality. News reaches her that school will reopen in a day and she is understandably overjoyed, but there is a hitch: she must first locate her shoes - mandatory under new school rules - in the debris that was once her home.

Connection to Country
Friday 22 March , 2 pm, The Civic Theatre

Connection to Country follows a group of Indigenous people from the Pilbara as they battle to preserve Australia's unique cultural heritage from the ravages of a booming mining industry.

Preceded by short film - Last Taxi Dance

In a ballroom called Paradise, in the aftermath of World War II, a proud Hawaiian singer dances with a returned U.S. soldier and debates the dignity of the American dream. But when his dance tickets run out, she is left with a harsh choice – for when the dancing stops, this man will die.

Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen
Friday 22 March, 7:30 pm, The Civic Theatre

“The revolution isn’t just running out with a gun, if a film I make causes indigenous people to feel stronger about themselves then I’m achieving something worthwhile for the revolution.” 

Leitis in Waiting
Saturday 23 March, 11:30 am, The Civic Theatre

LEITIS IN WAITING is the story of Joey Mataele and the Tonga leitis, an intrepid group of native transgender women fighting a rising tide of religious fundamentalism and intolerance in their South Pacific Kingdom.

Tōku Kainga, Tōku Manawa (My Home, My Heart)
Saturday 23 March, 1 pm, Ngā Purapura

Iglu:Angirraq (House:Home)

An Inuk filmmaker explores the homelessness and housing crisis affecting the Inuit in his hometown, Iqaluit, Nunavut.

Voice From The Desert

Aboriginal singer Zaachariaha Fielding is taking the Australian music industry by storm; touring the nation and the world with his groundbreaking electro-soul band Electric Fields. Last year they thrilled us all at Māoriland!

From winning New Talent of the Year at the National Indigenous Music Awards, Zaachariaha returns to the tiny central desert community of Mimili to reveal the inspiration behind his unique music. Through revealing interviews with Zaachariaha and his family, we learn of the challenges he was forced to overcome as a child, and his journey to music stardom as a proud member of the LGBTQ community.

Black Divaz
Saturday 23 March, 5 pm, Ngā Purapura

Black Divaz goes behind the glitz, glamour and hot glue guns of the inaugural Miss First Nation pageant. 

Preceded by short film - Taghi (Revolt)

A boatwoman finds it difficult  to disguise her dislike of one of her passengers, a prostitute. However stereotypes are often shattered when we see the real person underneath.

In My Own Words
Saturday 23 March, 5:30 pm, The Civic Theatre

Raw, heartfelt, sometimes painstaking but often funny, In My Own Words follows the journey of adult Aboriginal students and their teachers as they discover the transformative power of reading and writing for the first time in their lives.

Preceded by short - Sacred By Nature

The Blackfoot people attempt to revitalise a seemingly forgotten ceremony that their ancestors once practiced.

Sunday 24 March, 1 pm, Ngā Purapura

Dawnland is a story of stolen children and cultural survival: inside the first truth and reconciliation commission for Native Americans. For the first time, they are being asked to share their stories.

Put March 20 - 24 in your calendars now and join us in Ōtaki to celebrate the world of Indigenous cinema and creativity! 

See the full Māoriland Film Festival programme online at