Film wins at Indigenous film festival

02 December 2015
The Pā Boys

The Pā Boys has been awarded the Mejor Ficción (Best Fiction) award at the XII Festival Internacional de Cine y Video de los Pueblos Indígenas (Ficwallmapu) held in Temuco, Chile and Puelmapu, Argentina.

The Pā Boys is the debut film from writer/director Himiona Grace and was co-produced by Ainsley Gardiner (Boy) and Mina Mathieson (Warbrick).

For its screening in Chile on Thursday 20 November, the film was subtitled in Spanish by Dr Kathryn Lehman, Senior Lecturer in Spanish and Latin American Studies in the Faculty of Arts.

The film follows the road trip of a Māori reggae band as it tours East Coast and Northland pubs, learning about life, death and music along the way. On the road to Te Rerenga Wairua the boys go on a roots journey that is both musical (the cast includes singer Francis Kora, with songs by Trinity Roots's Warren Maxwell) and personal (mateship, whānau, whakapapa).

Kathryn commented that "it was a privilege to observe how ancestral knowledge is transmitted in such a cool way, not only across generations, but also across languages and cultures. This gives one confidence in the leadership Māori people provide in addressing the major issues of our time."

The award was presented to co-producer Mina Mathieson in Chile by David Hernández Palmar, a Wayuu filmmaker who visited Auckland in 2011 to lead workshops about the right to communication, co-hosted by the New Zealand Centre for Latin American Studies (NZCLAS) and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, supported by Te Whare Kura.

The award-winning film has previously screened in Honolulu, Hawaii at the Hawaii International Film Festival and the Aotearoa New Zealand Film Festival, at the Maoriland Film Festival and the Wairoa Maori Film Festival in New Zealand, as well as at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Canada.

This year, the Coordinadora Latinoamericana de Cine y Comunicación de los Pueblos Indígenas (CLACPI) celebrated 30 years of screening outstanding Indigenous video and film at the only festival of its kind entirely managed and curated by Indigenous peoples. Each festival has been held in a different location across Latin America, with the first one held in Mexico City in 1985.

Dr Lehman has accompanied Indigenous filmmakers to three of these previous festivals in order to contribute to knowledge exchange.

Find out more about studying Spanish or Latin American Studies.