Otaki Otaki


Native Peoples - Global Films

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Running Time: 15 - 19 Mar 2023


Native Peoples - Global Films


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View the full Māoriland Film Festival programme and film details online at mff.Mā

Please note all ratings are indicative 

Opening Night Screening: Ka Pō

8:00 PM, Wed  15 Mar
Memorial Hall
Director: Etienne Aurelius

"In the mountains of Kauai, a drug-addicted native Hawaiian woman, NANEA, lives with her troubled boyfriend, ELI inside an abandoned school bus. On the night of her mother's funeral, she reaches breaking point and destroys Eli’s possessions sending him into a bitter rage. Nanae flees into the surrounding forest escaping into midnight. Now on the run, Nanea suffers from drug withdrawals and encounters a mythical creature named YAHDELLA who sends her on a soul-searching journey. Territorial anger sweeps through the valley sending Eli over the edge and on the hunt for blood. Deep in the forest, Nanea hears the voices of her ancestors, they guide her to an ancient waterfall where her journey of self-discovery takes on an entirely new transformation.

Recommended for mature audiences only


8:15 PM, Thu  16 Mar
Māoriland Hub
Director: Fox Maxy

It's moody, it's earthy, it's dreamy, it's a horror film about surviving. Gush about it.


8:30 PM, Thu 16 Mar
Memorial Hall
Director: Bretten Hannam

When Link discovers his Mi’kmaw mother is still alive, he runs away from home with his younger brother Travis, in a desperate gamble to start a new life. They’re soon joined by Pasmay, a pow wow dancer drawn to Links' story. Together they embark on a Two-Spirit odyssey, reconnecting with culture and the territory of Mi’kma’ki in Nova Scotia, Canada, while trying to find Links' mother, Sarah.


6:00 PM, Fri  17 Mar
Memorial Hall
Director: ​​Julie Zhu, Asuka Sylvie, Michelle Ang, Nahyeon Lee, Yamin Tun, Ghazaleh Golbakhsh, HASH, Angeline Loo

Kainga navigates the thorny terrain of home in Aotearoa New Zealand from the perspectives of 11 Pan-Asian women. Writers and directors from Māori-Chinese Aotearoa, China, Philippines, India, Iran, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar and Tamil Eelam, explore the historical connection to tangata whenua, feelings of isolation, community support in lieu of family, home precarity, excitement about making home, longing to be “back home”, being othered at home, and finally claiming home. Each 10-minute story, set in the same house across several decades, honours these experiences one brick at a time.

Broken Angel

6:15 PM, Fri  17 Mar
Civic Theatre
Director: Jules Arita Koostachin

ANGEL, mother to TANIS, escapes into the night from her abusive partner EARL to a women’s shelter on the reservation. As the prospect of a new beginning comes to light, he tracks her down and she is forced to flee or fight.

This screening is for mature audiences


8:15 PM, Fri 17 Mar
Memorial Hall
Director: Te Arepa Kahi

Inspired by actual events, MURU is the story of a local Police Sergeant ‘Taffy’ Tawharau (Cliff Curtis), who must choose between his badge and his people, when the Government launches an armed raid through his Ruatoki community, on a school day.

“Based on the 2007 anti-terror raids in Tuhoe country, director-writer Tearepa Kahi’s film pulled off a combo of action thriller, political theatre and whanau drama centred on Cliff Curtis’ local cop. The best and biggest local feature of 2022.”
– Russell Baillie, Listener ‘The best movies of 2022’


6:15 PM, Sat  18 Mar
Memorial Hall
Director: Gail Maurice

A film about family, love, and misfits, ROSIE tells the story of a young, orphaned, Indigenous girl who is forced to live with her reluctant, street-smart Aunty Fred (Frédérique). Rosie is thrust into the fringes of 1980’s Montréal into the care of Fred, who just lost her job, is on the verge of eviction, and who looks and sounds nothing like her. Fred, an artist who creates art from found and discarded objects or other peoples’ trash, introduces Rosie to her two best friends Flo and Mo, glamorous human beings who refuse to be confined by gender. In the end, Rosie transforms the lives of these colourful characters and finds love, acceptance, and a true HOME with her new chosen family of glittering outsiders.

Bones of Crows

8:30 PM, Sat  18 Mar
Memorial Hall
Director: Marie Clements

An epic account of the life of Cree matriarch Aline Spears that spans generations, Marie Clements’ Bones of Crows is a powerful indictment of the abuse of Indigenous peoples as well as a stirring story of resilience and resistance.

This programme is for mature audiences only

Sweet As

1:15 PM, Sun 19 Mar
Memorial Hall
Director: Jub Clerc

In remote Pilbara country in Western Australia, troubled 16 year old Indigenous girl, Murra, finds herself abandoned after an explosive incident with her addict mother. On the cusp of being lost in the child protection system, an unusual lifeline is thrown her way by her uncle Ian, the local cop, in the form of a unique photo safari. Before Murra knows it, she is careening down a dusty highway with a minibus full of at-risk teens and two charismatic team leaders. Will this be the lifeline Murra needs or the catalyst for her demise?


3:45 PM, Sun  19 Mar
Memorial Hall
Director: Dmitrii Davydov

Vasily has spent the last 20 years searching for happiness in the city. At the age of 40, he realises that he has nothing meaningful in his life, so in search of purpose and connection, he returns to his native village. But his parental home is already boarded up, there are no friends left, and few people are happy about his arrival. Vasily understands that here he is a stranger and no one needs him.

Youth a self-ironic movie, with absurdist humor from Yakutia's most prolific director, Dmitrii Davydov. It was shot on location in Yakutia at -57 degrees C in the Yakut language.

Closing Night Screening: Slash/Back

6:00 PM, Sun  19 Mar
Memorial Hall
Director: Nyla Innuksuk

Maika and her ragtag group of friends discover an alien invasion in their tiny Arctic hamlet of Pang. It's up to them to fight back using makeshift weapons and horror movie knowledge.

This screening is presented with the support of NYU: Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation.

View the full Māoriland Film Festival programme and film details online at mff.Mā

Ko Te Kawa Nui Ia He Manaaki i Te Tangata

Māoriland is committed to creating a safe environment for all our kaimahi and visitors. 

The values and functions of Māoriland are derived from cornerstone principles of celebration, unity, being alert, and respecting the mana of every person and taonga in our whare. 

We ask that manuwhiri and visitors alike respect the mana of all those you encounter.  

We will have hand sanitiser available at all venues and wherever refreshments are served. We practice good hygiene including washing our hands and cleaning high-use surfaces. 

So that we can safely welcome you into all MFF venues, we encourage you to: 

  • Wear a mask when inside venues and/or in close contact with others. 
  • Stay home if you have are unwell, have symptoms of cold/flu or COVID-19. 
  • Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) will be freely available at all venues.

About the Māoriland Film Festival

Each March, Māoriland Film Festival brings the world of Indigenous cinema to Ōtaki for five days of screenings, workshops, art exhibitions and special events. Māoriland operates year-round from the Māoriland Hub and is operated by Māoriland Charitable Trust. 

68 Main Street Ōtaki

He whare taketake – a home for the Indigenous
He whare tapere – a home for the imagination
He whare kōrero – a home for conversation

To return to the main page please click HERE

View the full Māoriland Film Festival programme and film details online at mff.Mā

More From Maoriland Charitable Trust