Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) has launched a new talent development fund under its Te Rautaki Māori strategy which was introduced in 2018 to champion Māori film and filmmakers in partnership with the Māori film industry.
The Tautoko Tāngata- Māori Talent Development Fund focuses on talent development for Māori key creatives and other roles the industry identifies as requiring increased Māori representation.
Some of New Zealand’s most successful filmmakers are Māori with the most recent success coming this week when Taika Waititi (Te Whānau ā Apanui) became the first New Zealander and the first indigenous filmmaker to win an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. He and fellow producer, Chelsea Winstanley (Ngāti Ranginui) are the first two indigenous producers to have been nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award.
The NZFC is committed to advancing the careers of new and emerging Māori talent and encouraging the use of Te Reo Māori in storytelling on screen. Films by and about Māori such as Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Boy, Mt. Zion, Mahana and Once Were Warriors have resonated the most with local and international audiences over the last twenty years, making up half the top-20 list for box-office takings at New Zealand cinemas.
The Tautoko Tāngata- Māori Talent Development Fund has three strands, catering to Māori talent at different stages of their screen industry careers, from youth to those who have short or feature film projects at some stage of development.
To find out more about the fund and to read the guidelines, please go to the NZFC website.