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Showing posts from 2019

NZ Update #18 – Beyond Exceptionality?

Some good news this week. A relief to write about, after my recent dense essays that explore continued risks to the safety of New Zealand women who make films; our taxpayer over-investment in international projects that white men write and direct; and under-investment in the distribution and marketing of films that New Zealand women write and direct; and new and inequitable taxpayer-funded creative worker research that may be used by policy-makers.  Whew.

Individually, these good news announcements don't mean much. But collectively, they may signal that – at last – that women writers and directors are not 'exceptional' in taxpayer-funded projects here. That's something to celebrate I reckon, because, like Shaula Evans (no relation)– I get frustrated with people who embrace exceptionalism because when I was younger I too thought I could get ahead in the face of systemic inequality by being 10x better & sometimes I did but slipping through the narrow door isn't …

Mothers Day

Three mothers-and-film things to celebrate! What a pleasure!

1. The Mothers Day screenings of Hepi Mita's beautiful, powerful film about his mother: Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen, which I believe is central to debates about women's filmmaking, about women artists of all kinds who are also mothers (and their families); and about activist art-making. These screenings mark the beginning of Merata's New Zealand theatrical release.

At some venues the Mothers Day screenings will be accompanied by morning tea and Q & As with special guests associated with the film –  Merata's children and others: in Auckland (with Hepi Mita and Chelsea Winstanley); Christchurch (with Tearepa Kahi); Gisborne (with a haka powhiri and Merata's daughter Awatea Mita); Tauranga (with Merata's son Rafer Rautjoki); Rotorua (with Merata's son Richard Rautjoki and Cliff Curtis). And Wellington has an afternoon tea with Hepi, who will have had to leap on a plane very fast after…

NZ Update #17.2: Wellbeing & Women's Feature Filmmaking

(As always, there's a prettier, easier, read of this over on Medium)

I get up early on Friday 15 March. I want to complete this followup to NZ Update #17.1: Safety Revisited(Update #17.1)– about women's lack of safety in New Zealand in general and in the screen industries in particular – before I leave to support the School Strike for Climate gathering in the grounds of Parliament. I don't quite finish before I left home. But no problem: climate change activism is urgent, a priority in this summer/autumn when – to give just two examples – not one stick insect has appeared in our garden and very very few honey bees, although there are many flowering plants for them. Today,  the sun's intensity is shocking. Like the spring sun when the gaps in the ozone layer first affected us. Only more so.
I leave Parliament inspired and heartened by those dedicated, super-well-informed, graceful, warm and articulate activists. And moved by Maori Donna Awatere-Huata's brief speech a…