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Libby Hakaraia - Maoriland Film Festival

Libby Hakaraia is ready to ensure Maoriland Film Festival reaches global audiences.

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Libby Hakaraia dreams of creating a film festival for indigenous filmmakers in Otaki with similar allure as the Sundance Film Festival and as the Maoriland Film Festival enters its fifth year it looks like she’s on track.

Hakaraia established Māoriland Film Festival with Tainui Stephens in 2014. The quality of the programme they curate each year, the collaborative atmosphere they foster, and the location of the Festival in a small village close to mountains and the sea, has meant audiences and filmmakers are returning year after year to screen and watch films that will not be seen anywhere else in New Zealand.

Māoriland Film Festival is also growing collaborations such as Native Slam and Youth competitions. Hakaraia says indigenous filmmaking is increasingly recognised around the world to celebrate indigenous stories and voices.

Earlier this month she returned from Finland’s Tampere Film Festival where an indigenous Norwegian Sami film won two top awards. She says that places Māori film in an excellent position to grow international audiences - and for theMaoriland Film Festival to be around at least as long as Sundance.