Whetu Fala – Interviews

Whetu Fala interviews and presenter roles as herself.

Te Ao Māori News July 2019

Tangata Pasifika 1993 Part three 1’16”

Ask Your Auntie 2007

Ngā Aho Whakaari – Māori Screen Guild Fale Matariki 2013

Whakaata Māori – Matariki Awards 2016

Stand up Aōtearoa

Run it straightHone Harawira has sent out the Rubeun Taipari organised protest march schedule on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) signing by twelve nation heads, set for Sky City on 4th February in Tamaki, Auckland.

The openly public schedule also announces at the conclusion of TPPA march in Auckland all involved are invited to travel to Waitangi and Te Tii  Marae.

Here the people will once more take the John Key led National government to task over the TPPA signing without a referendum or consultation with all the people of Aōtearoa.

The easily accessed and heralded anti-TPPA protest plans for Auckland and Waitangi are in contrast to what the government would have us believe. Two days ago the government sent police to visit known anti-TPPA activist Scout Barbour-Evans in Dunedin to ask what they had planned for the upcoming TPPA protests. A simple Google search on relevant websites gives TPPA protest plans the length and breath of Aōtearoa.

Ngāti Whātua ki Orākei this week publicly announced that as part of their opposition to the signing of TPPA they would refuse to traditionally welcome any of the expected TPPA heads into Auckland.

And who could blame them as although their claim with the crown is settled, Ngāti Whātua Orākei know first hand what trauma visiting dignitaries  can create.

 In 1951 in preparation for a visit of Queen Elizabeth II the New Zealand government wrongfully evicted them and burnt down their homes as it was claimed their village was an eyesore and would not be suitable for the Queen to see as she drove past their pā in Okahu Bay.

Joe  recalls the eviction in 1951 from their home vividly when as an eight year old boy, he and his Dad were in the orchards above the village and saw clouds of smoke coming from their village. They ran back, only to discover all of the village being burnt down by men with flame-throwers and his younger siblings with his mum and elders weeping with what few possessions they had managed to carry out of their homes, at their feet.

In 1977 as a family man and leader of the peaceful 506 day occupation of resistance to the crown proposal to build housing developments on the same land Joe Hawke also remembers the day when the Muldoon led National government sent tanks and soldiers to evict him and his extended family again.

People who stand up for what they believe in against the status quo pay a price and for Joe Hawke and Ngāti Whātua Orākei who now live and are returning to live on their ancestral land in 2015 – it was worth it.

This week saw two very different native filmmaking teams who stood up and self-financed films.

Tangata whenua woman director, Tere Harrison from Te Whānau-a-Apanui is Writer/Director/Producer of the short film “Run it Straight.” A plea on behalf of West Papua people it attests that West Papua people are being subjugated to murder, torture for the sake of gold that is on their lands.

Harrison creates a visual mash up, liberally using dashes of stylised poetry sequences, poly swagg-esque elements, short drama, rugby league sports teams camaraderie to highlight the plight of West Papua.

Along the way, she confronts Māori prejudices against ‘FOB’s’ (Fresh off the boat people) and ‘Islanders’ as ‘other’ and also challenges the notion that rugby league players and politics will never mix.

Harrison blends in real life cameos from West Papua leaders and includes Māori leaders Dr Maria Bargh, Hone Harawira, Glenis Phillip Babara and many more. Yes, tragically, the harsh reality of the torture of West Papua people although handled sensitively is still shocking to see here.

“Run it straight” had its cast and crew screening at Te Upoko o te Ika Māori radio station and will be making its way into the world very shortly.

In the words of wāhine toa director Tere Harrison This short film Run It Straight was inspired by a protest I saw by the Hunters Rugby League Club Wellington who marched to the Indonesian Embassy to call for the freedom of West Papua…….It’s time to learn the story about the people of West Papua, it’s time to Run It Straight for West Papua.”

Last night I attended an advertised by Facebook one-off only screening at Queensgate, Lower Hutt of “3 Wise Cousins” a full length feature film written, directed and co-produced by Samoan director, SQS aka Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa .

Stallone and his team launched the feature in December 2015 at a one -off screening in the Civic theatre in Auckland saying they were going to try and screen the film during the school holidays and they managed to do just that and had screenings in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland with one catch – you had to be in the know!

A heart-felt comedy with a moral it was shot mainly on location in Samoa, it follows the trials of love-struck unemployed, play station playing Adam (Neil Amituanai)  from Auckland, adult but still living at home only spoilt child.

Adam invites himself to Samoa and into the lives of his two cousins Moses (Vito Vito) and Tavita (Fesuai Viliamu) and begs them to teach him ‘How to be a real Island guy’ in order to win the affections of a neighbourhood girl (Gloria Blake) whom he has never met but fancies and bus stalked.

His two cousins good-naturedly agree and set out to help their love luckless cousin become a real Samoan. All three get more out of the experience than they all bargain for.

I was lucky to get the ‘3 Wise Cousins’ ticket as they were nearly full and arrived to find a second screening had been put on due to demand. It was a packed house and I did not see one palagi (Pākeha – white) person in the audience.

The average audience age was around twelve years old and they all seemed to be out with their parents and older teenage siblings. A predominately Samoan speaking audience, the theatre laughed and cheered at all the Samoan language and culture jokes. At the end many stayed in their seats afterwards excitedly talking about what they had seen.

Director Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa ” I think people will definitely leave with a bit more wisdom, I think this film will be quite eye opening for a lot of people. They’ll find that amongst the laughter there’s just a lot more, I guess perspective. They’ll definitely walk away with perspective”

 

Sources

Ngāti Whātua Orakei

Waitangi Tribunal

Free West Papua Aōtearoa

Free West Papua Campaign

Peace Movement Aōtearoa

Stuff – TPPA Visits

Run it Straight 

Three Wise cousins

http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/MatikeMaiAotearoaReport.pdf

GOING IMAGINENATIVE TORONTO

When Cynthia Lickers-Sage – one of the founders of ImagineNATIVE attended a Te Manu Aute hui at Tapu Te Ranga marae in Island Bay, circa 1995-ish she announced she would start a native film festival. Lynette Crawford Williams reminded me of this moment recently!
Sixteen years after the first festival began and after three films I’ve been involved with have screened there, I’m going to see Cynthia’s dream come true. And what a dream it’s become, now the largest international native film festival it has thru programming, goodwill and sheer hard work, carved it’s way into an enviable position as native film festivals finest. Thanks to Jason Ryle, Executive Director and Marcia Nickerson Chairman of ImagineNATIVE board for coming to Aōtearoa to meet with us face to face and for the gracious invitation.
Ka mau te wehi!

Eruera Te Whiti Nia at Fale Matariki 2013

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(Pictured at Fale Matariki opening L Pita Turei, Kim Muriwai, Will Ilolahia, Eruera Te Whiti Nia)

Documentary Director/Producer/Artist Eruera Te Whiti Nia, lives on his ancestral land in Taputapuatea, Avarua Rarotonga and he was a keynote speaker at Fale Matariki 2013.

Erueras’ parents Te Ora o te Tangata Rangatira and Inanui i te Rangi raised him along with his twin brother Henare and three other siblings  near Takapuwahia Marae in Porirua, Wellington. His ancestor was Lieut-Colonel Eruera Te Whiti o Rongomai Love a Commander of the 28th Māori Battalion.

In 1957, when Eruera was 6 years old, his grandmother took him on an aeroplane to live at Parihaka. He was raised there until he was 9 years old. It was here as a young child that he first met many of the Taranaki kuikui that he would return 30 years later and film in the astonishing Taranaki treasure house documentary ‘ Te Atiawa o Runga Te Rangi.’

Erueras’ first foray into films were made in 1972 while a student of Rudi Gopas (Rudi was married to broadcaster Airini Grennell from Koukourarata, Ngai Tahu)  at Ilam School of Fine Arts, Canterbury University. Eruera left art school forming the Christchurch branch of ‘Ngā Tamatoa’ with Tame Iti. They were part of the Nga Tamatoa three week sit in protest on Parliament grounds that presented the 1972 Maori Language bill to parliament.

The next years were spent in protest and de-colonization activities. Eruera was active in the 1975 Maori Land March, 1977 Takaparawha – Bastion Point Land Struggle, 1978 Raglan Land Struggle, 1981 Anti-Springbok tour. During this time Eruera also maintained an active interest in the arts as a sculptor/carver part of Maori Artists and Writers – Ngā Puna Waihanga.

Eruera was introduced to John O’Shea, Pacific Films thanks to his friendship with Craig Walters (Crunch) in the late 70’s, early 80’s. Crunch was born and bred in Stratford, Taranaki and worked as Line Producer and Associate Producer at Pacific Films.

John O’Shea encouraged Eruera to write down his film ideas and Eruera began working for Pacific Films where he took a special interest in camera. Eruera was approached by Mrs Nicholas (Darcy & Garry’s mum) and encouraged to record the stories of the Taranaki kaumatua but it wasn’t until 1986 that Eruera was able with the help of Crunch and Pacific Films to complete that kaupapa.

In 1986 Eruera formed Rangiatea Films and Produced/Directed the 48 minute documentary ‘Te Atiawa o Runga te Rangi’ that was commissioned for TVNZ. A portrait of the remaining kuia and koro from Taranaki, they discuss in 100% Taranaki mita, their families, education and way of life.

On Tuesday 24 July 2013 Eruera traveled to Wellington thanks to NZ Film Archives and screened his films ‘Te Atiawa o Runga Te Rangi’ (1986) ‘ Huakina (1987) a look at the polluted seas and land in Taranaki due to oil drilling, ‘Nga Tai o Makiri’ (1987) a study of four Taranaki rivers, with three being almost destroyed due to dairy farming and oil drilling, ‘Te Ara Puoro o Aotearoa’ (1996) a portrait of long time colleague and fellow artist Hirini Melbourne to a largely Taranaki audience. It was around 1996 that Eruera returned to Rarotonga to care for his father after the death of his mother. Now that his father has passed, Eruera remains on their papakainga of Taputapuatea.

The Wellington reception for the films was overwhelming for Eruera made even more special by the presence of Crunch and his family and also Takau his daughter and partner with Erueras’ first mokopuna. After such a long absence from Aotearoa, it is hoped he’ll return to Parihaka to screen his films in August 2013.

Eruera returned to Rarotonga to resume filming his latest work on the Arikinui o Rarotonga that he began last year. He hopes to complete filming in all the outer islands of Rarotonga shortly. This month he will also travel to Canada with fellow sculptor Felipe Tohi (Tonga) for a symposium of Pasefika artists.

Sources: Whetu Fala Conversations with Eruera Nia, Fale Matariki July 2013: Whetu Fala Conversations with Craig Walters (1990 – present)  NZ Film Archives Wellington 24 July 2013 Eruera Nia Screening : Are Korero: Thesis Eruera Te Whiti Nia 2009

FALE MATARIKI – 20, 21 JULY

Ngā Wai ō Horotiu Marae, Auckland University of Technology

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Matariki is the Māori name of the Pleiades star cluster, which reappears on the night sky horizon each year in May or June. Its appearance heralds the ‘new year’ for Māori, the new season for planting and for starting new initiatives. Fale is the word ‘house’ that is shared by the indigenous peoples of  the South Pacific, whether it be whare (Māori), vale (Fijian), fale (Samoan, Tongan), hale (Hawaiian), fare (Tahitian), or ‘are (Rarotongan)

In 2013, ‘Fale  Matariki’ will bring together Māori and Pasefika film-makers, artists and educators, under the umbrella of one house, to celebrate and support each other’s work and develop strategies to build capacity for Māori Pasefika creative arts and screen production, and to take our work to a  global audience.

‘Fale Matariki’ is hosted by Te Ara Poutama, the Faculty of Māori Development at Auckland University of Technology, and is being organised by Dr. Ella Henry and film-maker Whetu Fala, of Fala Media.

This event is a collaboration between Ngā Aho Whakaari, the association of Māori in screen production, the Pacific Island Media Association, Pacific Islanders in Film & Television, Auckland Council and the Commonwealth Foundation (UK).

Also at this event will be the launch of “The Brown Book” a guideline and protocols handbook for film productions wishing to engage with Māori. It was written by the late Melissa Wikaire along with Dr Ella Henry made possible with the support of Ngā Aho Whakaari, NZ On Air and NZ Film Commission.

The event will comprise screenings of Pasifika and Māori films, archival and contemporary; workshops focussing on skills-development for the creative arts and screen production, and a forum in which to discuss strategies for building capacity, enhancing opportunities, and forging networks between and on behalf of Māori and Pasifika creative artists and film-makers, both in Aotearoa and the Pacific.

A key outcome of this gathering will be the development of a strategic vision for, and resultant infrastructure to foster a cohesive and comprehensive Pasefika Māori screen industry collaboration.

     Ngā mihi, fa’afetai lava, Fãi’åkse’ea,

thanks to;

                            PACIFIC ISLAND MEDIA ASSOCIATION                 

                     PACIFIC ISLANDERS IN FILM AND TELEVISION

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VENUE: Ngā Wai ō Horotiu Marae, Auckland University of Technology, cnr Wellesley street East and Symonds street, Auckland Central.

Entry to the marae is via the Māori gateway on the corner of Wellesley street East and St Paul Street, opposite the Subway.

Car parking is across from the marae in the Wilsons Unipark carpark 6 St Paul Street or around the corner in the Symonds street carpark.

Catch the Airport bus to Symonds street stop right outside the marae gateway and across the road for easy return to the airport.