City Gallery Wellington Te Whare Toi is excited to present an evening of indigenous short films. At the 2023 Sundance Film Festival Nova Paul premiered Hawaiki. It now features as a chapter in the cyclical narrative of Ngā Pūrākau Nō Ngā Rākau currently exhibited at City Gallery Wellington. Offering a taste of a film festival, we will be screening Hawaiki as a self-contained film with three other shorts selected by the artist.
The screening will run for 60-minutes with brief opening remarks from Nova Paul. Arrive early for the chance to view the exhibition, which will be kept open prior to the screening. Bar service will be available before the screening.
Hawaiki (2022) dir. Nova Paul
At the edge of the playground, close to the forest, the children of Okiwi school have made a refuge they have called Hawaiki. Woven through ancestral stories and in genealogy, Hawaiki has spiritual and metaphysical connections for Māori. With deep cultural links across the Moana nui a Kiwa, Hawaiki is an island, a homeland, a portal where Māori come from and will return to. In the world of the children, we see that their ancestors also intended that Hawaiki was for them to make their own, have agency, to play with. Hawaiki is a place where spiritual connections to ancient wisdom exist, a sanctuary for reflection and place to be yourself. Under the shelter of the trees and grounded on the land, the children create a space of their self-determination, reminding us that Hawaiki enables us to build the world we want.
When You Left Me on that Boulevard (2023) dir. Kayla Abuda Galang
Teenager Ly and her cousins get high before a boisterous family Thanksgiving at their auntie’s house in southeast San Diego in 2006. Stoned and harbouring a romance with her maybe-boyfriend, Ly moves through her family's gossip, nosiness, and loudness until the day ends.
When You Left Me on That Boulevard, received the Short Film Grand Jury Prize at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and the Special Jury Award for Vision at the 2023 SXSW Film Festival.
Headdress (2023) dir. Taietsarón:sere 'Tai' Leclaire
A weekend at a music festival is brought to a grinding halt when Tai is confronted by a white person wearing a Native Ceremonial Headdress. He retreats into his mind where a roundtable of various versions of his identity meets to come up with the perfect thing to say. When the debate escalates into a fight, they break the only device to communicate messages to Tai. At this moment, the various versions of Tai have to band together to try and fix the damaged device and still come up with the “perfect thing to say.”
Sunflower Siege Engine (2022) dir. Sky Hopinka
Moments of resistance are collapsed and woven together; from documentation of the Indigenous led occupation of Alcatraz, to the reclamation of Cahokia and the repatriation of the ancestors, to one’s reflections on their body as they exist in the world today, These are gestures that meditate on the carceral inception and nature of the reservation system, and where sovereignty and belligerence intersect and diverge.
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