Ngā Aho Whakaari to celebrate 20 years

The Māori screen production organisation, Ngā Aho Whakaari is set to celebrate 20 years of operation with a hui at the Māori Screen Gala Ball & Awards.

The hui, named Te Pou Ihiihi, will feature international and local guest speakers, interactive workshops, and will see the launch of the Ngā Aho Whakaari "Short Films Project".

The Māori Screen Gala Ball & Awards is a black-tie red carpet event with celebrity guests and the presentation of eight key awards to honour success in the screen industry.

Featured guest speaker Darlene Johnson was a guest at the first Ngā Aho Whakaari hui-a-tau 20 years ago. Johnson is an indigenous Australian director/actor whose films include award-winning BLUEY (Best Short Film at 2016 First Peoples Festival, Montreal) and The Redfern Story, and the documentary Stolen Generations and a modern-day supernatural myth Crocodile Dreaming.

Māori Television CEO Paora Maxwell will deliver the keynote address, and a panel including Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell, broadcaster Willie Jackson and television presenter/te reo expert Scotty Morrison will discuss Te Mātāwai, the new entity leading the revitalisation of Te Reo Māori and how it will impact on Māori broadcasting.

A range of television makers will enter a pitching competition witnessed by programme commissioners from TVNZ, TV3 and Maori Television. They stand to win a $5000 award and the opportunity to have their programme commissioned and aired.

Other activities include Te Reo Māori scriptwriting with the director of Poi E: The Story Of Our Song, Tearepa Kahi.

The two-day hui will be held at Waipapa Marae, Auckland University, on October 7 & 8.