Tell us a bit about yourself & your work.
I am a creative mind that has been raised in the heart of South Auckland, Papakura. I use photography, film-making and design as my creative voice. The artwork I produce comes from experiences I have endured and focuses on creating conversations about social injustices and issues.
What is it about this Film-making that captures your fancy? Any particular aspect that really stands out to you?
From a young age, I have told stories, using my imagination to create worlds and share experiences. Film-making is the visual representation of storytelling, and it gives me the ability to share what I see in my mind.
Does this film hold any significance to you personally? Does it represent anything for you?
Turangawaewae was a response to a situation I experienced in 2016. A young Maori man disregarded me as being Maori based on the colour of my skin. I felt as though I had to explain myself and how I have come to be who I am today, at which point I was fractionalised and told that I wasn't Maori enough. I am of both European and Maori descent. Blood Quantum is a tool implemented in America to qualify or disqualify someone belonging to their tribe which has spread throughout the world. It is dangerous for us as Maori to allow such a tool, to involve itself within our culture and change the way we treat one another. As the minority group in Aotearoa, we should be showing each other manaakitanga and whanaungatanga, not disregarding each other.
What is it about this film that makes it different from others you’ve created before?
I invested a lot of myself in the creative process of making the short film Turangawaewae. I’ve always put a part of myself into my work, but this short film helped me to realise the importance of doing so, sharing my own experiences and knowledge because of the impact it can and the conversations it can create. I haven’t made a short film since Turangawaewae came out but the experience of creating it will impact my future work.
If you want to find Neihana on social media, here are his links: