Māori matriarchs is the second act of FEM&IST Film Festival's opening night, the first being Aboriginal Feminism. They are programmed as companion pieces, as there is strong allyship between Aboriginal and Māori communities. Furthermore, both sessions show the collaborative nature of Indigenous filmmaking practices. Waru (2017) has eight wahine (Māori women) directors, and nine wahine writers, including Briar Grace-Smith, Casey Kaa, Ainsley Gardiner, Katie Wolfe, Renae Maihi, Chelsea Cohen, Paula Whetu Jones, Awanui Simich-Pene and Josephine Stewart-Tewhiu. This is in direct contrast to auteurist modes of production; a decidedly patriarchal practice. The film focuses on the events following the death of a child, as eight Māori women are confronted by guilt, pride and defeat but will ultimately risk everything for the greater good of their community
Joining us for a post-film Q&A moderated by Sonja Hammar will be directors Casey Kaa and Paula Whetu Jones, plus screenwriter Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu.
Paula (Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Whakatōhea) is the Director of Whitiora Productions Ltd and New Zealand film-maker. She has written, directed and produced a wide range of works over the last 20 years including documentaries, documentary web series, two short films and “Mere" in the acclaimed feature film Waru.
Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu (Ngapuhi/Te Rarawa) is an Auckland, NZ based writer, actor and filmmaker of mixed race descent. Her father is Māori and her mother is Pākehā (Caucasian/Scottish). Josephine has written for screen and theatre over the past 10 years, and has just completed her directional debut short film, “Ani".
Casey Kaa directed the Anahera chapter of acclaimed film Waru. The titular characters heartache is poignantly depicted by Roimata Fox and painfully reflected by all women who carry this mamae (heartache) throughout their day.
Sonja Hammar is a First Nations woman from Aotearoa working in community radio, producing and presenting shows that range from a Queer genre based fan show to Intersectional feminism in Narrm/Melbourne.
Accessibility: This venue is wheelchair accessible, with accessible public transport nearby. The film is subtitled and post-film discussion will have live AUSLAN interpreting.