$2.5mil to fund te reo Māori films

By Ripeka Timutimu

The New Zealand Film Commission has announced $2.5mil of funding for feature films in te reo Māori.

The new fund is part of the organisation’s Te Rautaki Māori, a new strategy to support Māori filmmakers.

CEO Annabelle Sheehan told Native Affairs Māori voices are integral to the strength of our film industry.

“In its principles, it's saying 'lets partner and ensure we are culturally capable at the New Zealand Film Commission'.  It’s a statement of commitment”.

The strategy also includes $2mil of funding toward a feature film where at least one key creative is Māori.

In 2016, seven of the top ten grossing domestic films at the New Zealand box office were Māori.

Ngā Aho Whakaari spokesperson, Erina Tamepo says it’s a step forward in the right direction.

“We have to be grateful for this rautaki because it’s not just about the last twelve months, it’s been in the work for many, many years.  For the last 35 years, Māori filmmakers have championed and lobbied for the existence of this strategy”.