Working with whānau is supposed to be disastrous but with Māoriland Film Festival it sits at the core of our success. I came on board for our first festival in 2014. I was fresh out of University (with a Conjoint in Health Sciences and Arts) and Libby Hakaraia (Festival Director and my aunt) asked if I would like to help out on Māoriland. I said yes with no idea of the world that I was about to be introduced to.
My role at Māoriland is primarily in the marketing and communications space. I work as a digital and social communications specialist providing advice and original content to businesses and bloggers. My aim is to help people get their stories to the world. However like most small businesses, at Māoriland we end up doing a bit of everything!
In October 2014 I was invited to become the first Māoriland to imagineNATIVE Festival Intern with the aim of facilitating an exchange of knowledge and ideas from Aotearoa to Canada and vice versa. The success of this venture led to Lindsay Monture travelling to Māoriland in March 2015 and my return to Canada in October 2016 working exclusively on behalf of MFF. In March of 2016 Sunna Nousuniemi will continue this international exchange of ideas by travelling to Māoriland from Skábmagovat Film Festival in Finland.
These international relationships are vital as they empower and strengthen the voice of Indigenous storytellers and the festivals that showcase them globally.