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Puanga Kai Rau festival 2012 – E-news update

Film director Paora Joseph on pre-release of T?tarakihi the children of Parihaka

An E-news update on the Puanga Kai Rau festival 2012 – R?hina, 28 Haratua 2012

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There is a sense of an epic journey beginning for up and coming New Zealand film-maker Paora Joseph. In the lead up to the world premiere of T?tarakihi the children of Parihaka, he seems quietly confident.

He describes his new feature film T?tarakihi the children of Parihaka as a “Parihaka story honouring our people.” The latest documentary, due for release in June, tells the courageous story of Paora’s ancestors, the Parihaka ploughmen who were wrongfully incarcerated in the South Island and the modern-day journey made by a group of Taranaki children to honour them.

The M?ori film-maker says the movie depicts “the struggle that has taken place at Parihaka since its conception in 1867 – and the ploughmen who sacrificed so much.” He hopes from seeing the film that “future generations flourish.” He said for Parihaka descendants, “It’s important to stay connected to the mountain, the whakapapa, the land and the atua.”

Film director Paora Joseph – photo Michelle Savill

Paora is inspired by “making films and telling stories.” Having already won an award for ‘Best Emerging Director’ at the 2011 Documentary Edge Festival it is exciting to wonder what is around the corner for the budding film-maker. In 2011 his short film documentary ‘Hiding Behind the Green Screen,’ also won him an award for ‘Best New Zealand Short’.

Paora said the release of his new film means “the words and teachings of Taranaki prophets Te Whiti and Tohu on peaceful resistance will be known worldwide.” He speaks with pride and conviction about Te Whiti and Tohu describing them as “great leaders who struggled for humanising ideals of enlightenment.”

Future career ambitions he says are to “further similar stories about our tupuna.” When asked where the film is going he says, “around New Zealand and abroad.” His humility shows with an inner spark that he is on to something great.

The launch of the movie on 9 June at Parihaka Pa celebrates the 2012 Puanga Kai Rau festival. To support the funding of the film visit the website

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