The Maori voice, like the First Nation voice of Canada is on the rise to recognition in the cinema and television industry. We are calling the new genre "the Indigenous voice". Wherever we go, no matter what cultures we visit indigenous people always seem to find a common thread in our societies. The similarities between Canada and New Zealand, however, are hard to ignore. European colonial governments who claimed to have founded new worlds invaded each of the countries. In each case there was an... [see more] Aboriginal population who possessed inherent rights to land and resources. In each case army, cannons, guns and disease overtook the Indigenous authority. Each country eventually came under British rule. But the indigenous cultures never died. Over the last century we have seen the Indigenous voice crawl out of silence. The first awakening happened in politics, then in education and finally in the arts. When our storytellers turned to literature, a postcolonial world began to take shape and British post colonial mentality would emerge. Like the First Nations of Canada, the Maori's are looking to have their Indigenous voice seen and heard in film and television. They want to be recognized as a separate voice with separate ideas and different ways of telling stories from that of the mainstream. Barry Barclay, Merata Mita, Tainui Stephens and Don Selwyn have made a mark on the industry and have paved the way for following generations within the Maori film and television industry. We look at their lives and works and how they have played an important role in the world of Indigenous cinema and what they have overcome to get there. We also examine the works of Carey Carter, Vanessa Rare and Ainsley Gardiner who are on the frontlines of today's emerging artistic community. They are what Barry Barclay defines as the emerging 'Fourth Cinema', a concept that fuels some controversy among the hangers on of a colonial mentality. Yet "Fourth Cinema", loosely defined as the creative outlet for the fourth world (indigenous world) , is finding acceptance in the Academy in places like Leeds University in England and at Auckland University in New Zealand where you can study Fourth Cinema as a course or specialize for a Masters. This two part special will introduce you to filmmakers who, without the New Zealand accent, might well be perceived as cousins from another Canadian province. Their stories are similar if not the same as ours. Their approach is parallel to ours. The inspiration is from the land and the seas that surround us. We are Storytellers in Motion telling stories from our side and for our audiences. The benefit to larger society is that the stories are authentic, genuine and real. They are indigenous, even when they are in the English language.
We have selected our subjects from a diverse range of filmmakers, writers, directors and performing artists who are pioneers of Indigenous cinema and television. Many of the artists featured in the series have focused at least part of their lives on the Aboriginal narrative and in the process are creating an impact on world screen culture. The Storytellers are from all parts of Canada and New Zealand. THEY ANSWER THE QUESTION: IS THERE AN INDIGENOUS VOICE IN MAINSTREAM CINEMA?