Tāhuhu Stories of Ancestry

Project Name: Tāhuhu Stories of Ancestry

Funding Recipient: Tai Huri Films

Activity: a story development and screen production residency for rangatahi Māori from Aotearoa New Zealand’s Far North region. Participants connect with kaumātua (elders) and experts in local history during a series of marae-based wānanga (seminars) where they explore their cultural narratives while establishing, maintaining and strengthening their sense of belonging. Upon completion of the wānanga participants submit a story idea for consideration to advance to a week-long residency programme at Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Based on factors such as story idea, leadership, commitment, focus and enthusiasm five new filmmaking talents will be selected by an industry panel to advance their projects to the residency programme. Under the guidance of screen industry mentors participants will develop their short films, reimagining local history, to produce a script. Each talent will be funded to produce and deliver a final film. The fundamental outcome of these workshops are to foster new filmmaking talents and inspire the next generation of Māori storytellers to pursue a career in film and media arts.

December 2021 Update: Through July and August three marae-based wānanga (workshops) were facilitated across remote communities within the Northern region of New Zealand. These workshops were highly successful in supporting rangatahi (youth) aged 15 to 25 years old, interested in storytelling for film and sharing their stories, their way. Through these Tāhuhu wānanga participants have:

  • Identified a story idea suited to documentary and Tai Tokerau history
  • Participated in a story development wānanga
  • Developed their bio, a film logline, synopsis and explored the reasons their story is important to tell
  • Heard from experts in local history
  • Participated in a series of wānanga ipurangi with screen professionals
  • Watched a specially curated programme of short films from Aotearoa
  • Submitted their story idea for phase two

The three workshops focused on the generation of ideas that linked participants to ancestry and stories of the past, with participants learning how to develop these into stories suited to documentary film. Participants were paired with mentors, including local elders, who shared their expertise in film production and aspects of local history. 18 applications were submitted as a result of phase one. A group of local industry professionals read the applications and we are very pleased that two participants were identified to move into phase two. The second phase will support these new storytellers in film to craft a treatment, explore their vision and produce their film. Phase two of the project commences on 10 January 2022.

Annual Focus: New Voices

Country: New Zealand

Amount Funded: $45,000

Status: In Progress

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