May 19, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views


4 min read

Nga Aho Whakaari, the film and television guild for Maori filmmakers, are hosting a free short film evening at the Rawene Masonic Hotel from 5 – 6PM on Friday 7 December as a precursor to the Aho Shorts workshop on Saturday 7 December for Hokianga short film writers Lavinia Kingi, Tommy Marie Thompson, Noa Campbell and Wayne Te Tai.

The four Hokianga writers have been participating in the New Zealand Film Commission funded Nga Aho Whakaari AHO SHORTS initiative to develop alternative approaches to Maori feature filmmaking in Iwi communities.

AHO SHORTs intention is to discover regional screenwriting talent and get them on the path to Te Paepae Ataata, the Maori feature film development organization funded by NZ Film Commission, says Executive Producer Aho Shorts, Whetu Fala. Aho Shorts is the first step towards Te Paepae Ataata , where our Hokianga writers have the opportunity following four previous screenwriting workshops and Saturdays final session to submit their short film scripts for possible production.

Accompanying Fala are two Auckland-based filmmakers who whakapapa to Hokianga, Poata Eruera and Tui Ruwhiu, who have been contracted by Nga Aho Whakaari to select scripts they think should proceed to production in 2013. Eruera and Ruwhiu, together with Ngati Awa filmmaker Bradford Haami have been one of three executive producer teams managing the New Zealand Film Commissions Premiere Short Film Fund for the last two years. Their responsibility at the Short Film Fund has been to select four film scripts submitted by the cream of New Zealands emerging filmmaking talent and to oversee the filmmaking teams as they produce high end short films for the international festival circuit.

Were proud and excited to be back in the Hokianga working at our grassroots level helping to uncover the next cropt of talented Maori filmmakers, says Eruera. Coming home to work on this initiative is a real treasure, Ruwhiu added.

Amongst the critically acclaimed films the filmmakers will show at the Masonic will be Erueras 1994 short film Mananui, featuring the now renowned Maori actor Cliff Curtis and many other well-known Maori acting talent.

The Aho Shorts programme is running concurrently in the Hokianga, Waiariki and Waikaremoana regions, with all selected films to be completed by the end of 2013.

E kore te totara e tu noa i te parae, engari me tu i te wao ! – The totara does not stand lonely on the plain but in the forest!

For further information, please contact:

Whetu Fala
Executive Producer Aho Shorts
0226 770 380
[email protected]

Aho Shorts

AHO SHORTS is a Nga Aho Whakaari initiative with the New Zealand Film Commission to develop short films, within iwi communities. Te Paepae Ataata is the dedicated M?ori feature film script development body funded by NZ Film Commission. But a gap currently exists as many talented M?ori may possess aspirations to make a feature film, or may have already demonstrated filmmaking talent in short film form, but have not yet developed the necessary pre-requisite skills and film language to write or make a feature film.

AHO SHORTS is the first step of the pathway that leads exciting new M?ori talent from the local marae to our script development body, Te Paepae Ataata.
Hokianga writers involved in the AHO SHORTS project to date include Lavinia Kingi, Tommy Marie Thompson, Noa Campbell and Wayne Te Tai. Past writing workshops run by AHO SHORTS in the Hokianga region in preparation for this project were led by Quinton Hita, Te Arepa Kahi, Christina Milligan, Hineani Melbourne and most recently Aho Shorts Executive Producer Development, Karen Sidney.

Nga Aho Whakaari Maori in Screen Production,

Nga Aho Whakaari represent Maori who work in television, film and all screen production and was formed in 1995. Our name Nga Aho Whakaari was given to us by Waihoroi Shortland to encapsulate the many strands (Aho) that combine to make a film, television or moving image production. The current Chair is Mika and it has one paid staff member, Waimihi Hotere. The voluntary executive is made up of screen production professionals. Former Nga Aho Whakaari executive members include Hokianga filmmakers Melissa Wikaire, Lavinia Kingi, Quinton Hita and actress Noa Campbell, with Lawrence Wharerau a current board member.

Te Paepae Ataata,

Te Paepae Ataata is a not-for-profit organisation funded by the New Zealand Film Commission to develop M?ori feature film scripts. The organisation was established in 2008.

Te Paepae Ataata aims to:

secure the rangatiratanga of iwi by offering leadership and the guardianship of film;
ensure that the spiritual core of films we support is clearly M?ori;
advocate for indigenous film worldwide on the basis that indigenous film is given the opportunity to reach its audiences whether that be on the marae or in urban multiplexes.

Te Paepae Ataata are driven by tikanga that unlock reciprocal respect for the mana of the film image, of humanity, and of an authoritative M?ori position.

Poata Eruera

Writer/Director/Producer Poata Eruera was born in the Hokianga and has close whanau links to the area. His short film work as a writer/director has screened nationally and internationally (Hawaii, Clermont Ferrand film festivals). Poata is a graduate of the writers course at the prestigious Binger Institute in Amsterdam. He is currently one of three executive producers of Tauihu Shorts, an executive producer group contracted by the New Zealand Film Commission for the years 2010 – 2012 to produce short films through the commissions Short Film Fund.

Tui Ruwhiu

Producer Tui Ruwhiu was raised amongst other locations in the Bay of Islands and has family links to south Hokianga. He has more than 20 years experience domestically and internationally telling stories using video, TV, film and marketing communications. He is together with Poata an executive producer of Tauihu Shorts, and with fellow Tauihu Shorts executive producer and colleague Brad Haami has six feature films in development with the New Zealand Film Commission.

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