Issue date: 
Monday, 25 July 2022

The trailer for this year’s opening night film of the Sydney Film Festival, We Are Still Here, released today ahead of its New Zealand premiere at the Whānau Mārama, the New Zealand International Film Festival. The film will also screen in the state of Victoria at the Melbourne International Film Festival next month. 

Drawing together filmmakers from Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia, We Are Still Here is a unique Indigenous film that interweaves eight powerful tales to tell a sweeping story of hope and survival.  

The film traverses 1000 years from past, present, and future to explore stories of kinship, loss, grief, and resilience. The Guardian’s Luke Buckmaster said “We Are Still Here is unquestionably memorable and, at times, a thrilling achievement, one that imparts a wonderful sense of growing, expanding, and evolving, almost as if it has a life of its own. When there is so much same-same content about, there is nothing else quite like this.” 

“We are so proud to finally share We Are Still Here with audiences in Aotearoa at Whānau Mārama, and to honour the work of our talented filmmakers, and the many hands that helped to weave this beautiful film together. We Are Still Here celebrates the strength, defiance, and survival of Indigenous peoples not only from Aotearoa, Australia, and the Pacific, but all Indigenous people around the world” said Producer Mia Henry-Teirney. 

We Are Still Here was written and directed by Aotearoa New Zealand’s Renae Maihi, Tim Worrall and Richard Curtis, Miki Magasiva and Mario Gaoa, Tiraora Reweti and Chantelle Burgoyne and Australia’s Samuel Nuggin-Paynter and Beck Cole, Danielle MacLean, Dena Curtis and Tracey Rigney. 

We Are Still Here is an official Australia / New Zealand co-production produced by Mitchell Stanley and Toni Stowers for No Coincidence Media (Australia) and Mia Henry-Teirney for Mārama Productions (NZ). The film was made with production investment and development support from Screen Australia's Indigenous department, Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga the New Zealand Film Commission, in association with Screen Queensland, Film Victoria, Screen Territory and Te Māngai Pāho.  

Karen Te O Kahurangi Waaka, Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga the New Zealand Film Commission’s Pou Whakahaere said “As a joint indigenous initiative and co-production between Australia and New Zealand, We Are Still Here successfully brought together Māori, Moana, and Aboriginal filmmakers at all levels of experience, drawing on stories grounded in their respective cultures.  The Kaupapa of this film has insured the authentic perspectives of those communities and people who have been colonised, diminished in their own countries, and experiencing every day the invisibility of first nation people, and to remind everyone We Are Still Here. The NZFC are very proud to have supported this film and enable an opportunity for these film makers to be recognised and acknowledged on their story telling journey.” 

We Are Still Here will premiere at the Civic Theatre, Auckland on August 4th and will be released theatrically in New Zealand by Rialto Distribution.  

Kelly Rogers, CEO of Rialto Distribution says, “We are delighted and extremely proud to be releasing this phenomenal film which showcases the best of local talent across the board”. 


Last updated: 
Monday, 25 July 2022