Whetu Fala

Matariki July 2018

Whetu Fala – Ngā Rauru, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Maru ki Taranaki, Samoa, Rotuma.

fala media owner Whetu Fala has produced, directed and edited, hundreds of hours of television, including drama, documentaries, reality series and short films in Aōtearoa New Zealand since getting her start at Television NZ in 1988.

short films she has written include Haka & Siva, Hei Tiki and she directed Ruki’s Voice by Gabrielle Huria that was created and filmed entirely on Ngāi Tuāhuriri land outside of Christchurch, NZ. Her short films were selected for screenings in Pasifika Festival of the Performing Arts Rarotonga, Samoa and Kanaky, Message Sticks Sydney Film Festival Australia, Dreamspeakers Canada, ImagineNative Film festival Canada.

documentaries Whetu has produced and directed include Kōtahi Mano Kaika Kōtahi mano wāwata and Te Upoko ō te Ika Making Waves. Her work has screened in NZ cinemas, on NZ Television channels One, 2, TV3, Discovery Channel, SBS Australia, Can West Canada, Sweden and Māori Television.

feature films she has appeared in six feature films as an actor including NZ films Te Rua , Jubilee to USA film Other side of Heaven produced by G E Molen (Schindlers List). As an actor she has attended Montreal Film Festival Canada, Wairoa Māori Film Festival as a Director & Producer Montreal Film Festival, Māorilands Film Festival, Winda Film Festival Sydney Australia, ImagiNative Film Festival Toronto Canada, Melbourne Film Festival Australia MIPTV Cannes France.

Whetu has a background in theatre as an actor. Her work includes Young Māori in performance season at the Sydney Opera House, Australia her own company He Oriori mo ngā Tamariki. He Oriori mo ngā Tamariki company members included Tina Cook (Ngā Puhi) Makerita Matapelu (Samoa) and Rena Owen (Ngāti Hine).  As well as local Wellington schools and theatres, the troup performed at the opening of the Aotea Centre Auckland NZ ( Director Carla von Zon) to Storytellers International, Albuquerque, New Mexico USA thanks to an arts grant from Darcy Nicholas at Porirua City, Wellington NZ.

Her first professional theatre production was 1983 ‘Death of the Land’ by Rore Hapipi (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Arabic) for Māori Artists and Writers Ngā Puna Wahanga Waiatarau, Freemans Bay branch tour to Rotorua performing at Whakarewarewa.  Directed by Paki Cherrington (Ngā Puhi) with Tainui Stephens (Te Rarawa), Arapera Bella Kaa Blank (Ngāti Porou) produced by Dame Georgina Kirby (Ngāti Porou) and Brian Kirby. Whetu toured extensively in NZ theatre in education troupes Te Ohu Whakaari, Town & Country Players that had a focus on presenting stories by Māori and NZ writers.

Whetu is a founding member of Te Manu Aute Māori Film (1985) led by Barry Barclay, Wi Kuki Kaa, Anne Keating, Tama Pōata, Taki Rua Theatre (1989) Women in Film & Television Wellington (1989), Ngā Aho Whakaari Māori Screen Guild (1996) and Pacific Islanders in Film & Television (2015) Aōtearoa.

Māori language and culture media content, Pasifika cultures media.

Still: ‘Siva’ Featuring Rachel Taulelepea Director/Composer Fonoti Pati Umaga Producer: Whetu Fala