May 7, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Graduate looking to crowd source support for Maori-focused film

2 min read

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Hi, my name is Ryan Metzler, a recent film graduate of Occidental College (LA). I wanted to pass along this message to see if you’d be interested in helping out Native Voices, a Native American theater company in Los Angeles, as well as a documentary project I’m about to embark on…

I received a fulbright grant to shoot a documentary with Maori men and women in New Zealand about a theory of research called “kaupapa maori.”

Currently, I’m raising money to buy camera equipment through my indiegogo campaign.

I pledge to sell back all the equipment at the end to donate the proceeds to Native Voices. I’ve interned with them over the past 3 years. They are an amazing group of people. To give you a better idea of my work, my 10 min. doc was a student academy award national finalist, that features native american actors from Native Voices.

I’d love if you can help spread my message! If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

How does one study a culture?

My documentary film, Matauranga, offers a unique way to answer this question by engaging with the Maori based theory of Kaupapa Maori ( This indigenous school of thought serves as an alternative to traditional, dominant practices of ethnographic research. By challenging colonial ideological frameworks, Kaupapa Maori aims to revitalize Maori culture and help reassess traditional research practices in the United States. The film looks at the theorys impact on Maori society and its potential to encourage new research methodologies in the field of ethnography.

To more effectively convey the principles of Kaupapa Maori, Matauranga includes performance art by Maori artists. Incorporating performances in the film address the significance of using fiction as a platform for ethnography and to ultimately critique early twentieth century ethnographic films of indigenous men and women. (Ryan’s 2014 documentary short that discusses the effects of ethnographic depictions of Native Americans in the media today)

While Kaupapa Maori is directed at improving the welfare of the Maori nation, the film encourages this unconventional study as an opportunity for people to embrace culturally different styles of learning across the arts and sciences.

Even though funds are initially being raised for camera equipment, this campaign is ultimately a fundraiser for the Native American based theater company, Native Voices (Los Angeles). All equipment earned through this campaign will be sold back and donated to the theater company. All earnings past the goal will go directly to Native Voices.


More info about the Fulbright U.S. Student Program:


More press about the project:


If you have any questions feel free to contact the director:

[email protected]


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