Submissions are invited for the 2023 Wairoa Māori Film Festival.

Organisers of the annual Wairoa Māori Film Festival have decided to postpone this year’s event from June to October 2023, due to the ongoing recovery from the adverse effects of Cyclone Gabrielle in the Wairoa community. Over a hundred homes were flooded in the Wairoa suburb of North Clyde, along with businesses and community facilities. The land and waterways were devastated far and wide. The town was cut off from the rest of the country, and remains so to the south towards Napier. Wairoa is a strong and resilient community and has come together to recover from Cyclone Gabrielle.

Usually held over Queen’s Birthday weekend, the annual Wairoa Māori Film Festival has celebrated the best of Māori movie making at the local Kahungunu Marae in Nūhaka for 18 years.

"Wairoa Māori Film Festival was one of the few film festivals in the world with movies in cinemas during the Covid-19 lockdowns," says Festival Director Leo Koziol. "We got through the Covid-19 pandemic together, and we will get through the impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle together."

"Wairoa is resilient and the Māori film festival will continue," he continues. "In our 18th year, we are looking towards celebrating our 20th birthday in 2025. In Nūhaka, our host marae Kahungunu is celebrating its 75th year in 2024. Wairoa Film Festival is the longest running Māori film festival in the country, and we are determined to continue."

The dates for this year’s festival have been changed on the FilmFreeway film entries page. Filmmakers are encouraged to continue entering their works, using the late entry waiver code: manawairoa23

Leo Koziol (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Rakaipaaka) is CIRCUIT’s 2023 Matariki Curator, and is currently working on an artist commission that will show on Masons Screen in July.

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