Announcing Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts 2019

Our Atoll Speaks: Ko Talatala Mai Tō Mātou Wenua
Ways to See
Yellow Roses
The New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) announces this year’s Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts selection.


The New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) is pleased to announce this year’s Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts selection.

‘Ngā Whanaunga’, which means relatedness and connectedness between peoples, is an expression realized by this collection of shorts from Aotearoa and the Pacific curated by Leo Koziol (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Rakaipaaka), Director of the Wairoa Māori Film Festival, with guest co-curator Craig Fasi (Niue), Director of the Pollywood Film Festival.

The six shorts selected this year are: Our Atoll Speaks: Ko Talatala Mai Tō Mātou Wenua (dir: Gemma Cubero del Barrio), Ani (dir: Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu), Liliu (dir: Jeremiah Tauamiti), Ways to See (dir: Jessica Sanderson), Rū (dir: Awanui Simich-Pene) and Yellow Roses (dir: Paula Whetu Jones).


Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts 2019:

Curators’ comments on each film appear in italics.


Our Atoll Speaks: Ko Talatala Mai Tō Mātou Wenua

Director/Producer: Gemma Cubero del Barrio

A meditation on sustainability from the remote Pukapuka atoll in the Cook Islands.

A serenade of narrative and captivating imagery – a political cry for help. — CF



Director/Screenplay: Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu (Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa) | Producer: Sarah Cook

A young Māori girl drifts into a world of make believe when her mother leaves her – and her father – to fend for themselves.

A tribute to the realities of solo parenting – touching and insightful. — CF



Director/Screenplay: Jeremiah Tauamiti (Samoan) | Producer: Ngaire Fuata (Rotuman)

A court interpreter in colonial Samoa risks everything to help a wrongfully convicted chief.

In the time of King George VI, it was a tome for guardianship of indigenous history as truth. — LK


Ways to See

Director/Screenplay: Jessica Sanderson | Producer: Desray Armstrong

A young Māori girl trying to reconnect with her absent father reaches out to a mysterious stranger.

Hine-nui-te-pō, in her intoxicating beauty and temptation, comes for a visit. — CF


Director/Screenplay: Awanui Simich-Pene (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hauā, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Ngāti Apakura) | Producer: Lindsay Gough

A pregnant mother must fight for her life when she inadvertently becomes the victim of a violent initiation.

A routine whanau errand turns dark in this unexpected native noir. — LK


Yellow Roses

Director/Screenplay: Paula Whetu Jones (Whakatōhea, Te Aitanga ā Māhaki, Ngāti Porou) | Producers: Paula Whetu Jones, Anahera Parata (Ngāti Toa Rangatira)

An elderly Māori woman who pines for the company of her husband enlists the services of a male escort.

Vicky Haughton shines in a story of lost love reawakened. — LK


NZIFF is run by a charitable trust and encourages lively interactions between films, filmmakers and New Zealand audiences in 13 towns and cities around the country. The full NZIFF programme will be available from Tuesday 25 June for Auckland, and Friday 28 June for Wellington. NZIFF starts in Auckland on 18 July and in Wellington from 26 July in 2019.

Written by


13 Jun 2019