Maori cinema on display for Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, Taika Waititi writes for new TV show

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A Māori kiriata celebration for Te Wiki o te reo Māori and an Oscar-winning Maori storyteller helping tell stories about Native Americans on the small screen.

What a taonga the New Zealand Film Commission Archives are, a rich tapestry of Aotearoa’s finest kaihanga kiriata and readily available.

Among them is Aotearoa’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film, shot entirely in Te Reo, starring James Rolleston, Te Kohe Tuhaka, Rena Owen, which became a TV series, Glenn Standring and actor R- rated by Toa Fraser. Dead lands.

Pumping Blood to the Manawa Rather than the Ground, Ainsley Gardner and Briar Grace-Smith’s Story of Maori Identity, Loss and Connection, The cousins is a five star watch.

And who can ever forget Paikea, based on the magnificent book by Witi Ihimaera, shot in Whāngārā. Watch or re-examine Keisha Castle Hughes in Whale rider.

As for the must-have, new to streaming this week is indigenous storytelling at its best, with Dogs Reservation on Disney +.

The eight-part comedy-drama from Native American writer and director Sterlin Harjo is populated with a seamless collection of truly unique and memorable characters. All natives, anchored in the joy of little teenage criminals Bear, Elora, Willie and Cheese on a mission to steal and save their way out of their small town of Oklahoma to sunny California.

Co-created by Harjo’s longtime friend Taika Waititi, who also wrote the pilot episode, I promise you will be just as in love with these Rez dogs as I am by the time you meet them.


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