He Ao Kotahi: Pai in Palestine

He Ao Kotahi sends prominent Māori artists thousands of miles from home to draw on and reflect the similarities between Māori and other indigenous cultures.

Through the artists, we see how the art and culture of our indigenous cousins worldwide has evolved and the lengths taken by artists to ensure that their precious art forms survive into the 21st century.

In this first series, ta moko artist Paitangi Ostick heads to Palestine to see just how close those similarities are.

  • Paula Jones
    Gang Girls , Lost Boys, Mama Were, The Hidden, Missing Out
  • Paula Jones
    Silent Soliders, Katz - He Ao Kotahi, The Hidden
  • Paitangi Ostick
    Key Cast
  • Shirley Allan
    Production Co-Ordinator
  • Ash Stewart
    Post Production
    Hotshot Post Production
  • Dan Nathan
    Audio Post
  • Rodney Quak
  • Te Mangai Paho
    Post Production Funders
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Web / New Media
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes
  • Production Budget:
    90,000 NZD
  • Country of Origin:
    New Zealand
  • Country of Filming:
    New Zealand, Palestine, State of
  • Language:
    Arabic, English, Maori
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • NZ Web Fest 2017
    New Zealand
  • ImagiNative Film Fest
    October 18, 2017
Director Biography - Paula Jones

Paula is the Director of Whitiora Productions Ltd, a boutique production house based in Auckland, NZ. Paula’s directorial debut was in 2002 with the award-winning documentary Gang Girls and has made a number of social issue documentaries since. Over the last few years, Paula has branched out, turning her hand to film as a scriptwriter and most recently has completed her Masters of Creative Writing for Scriptwriters at Auckland University of Technology.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

My vision is to bring together indigenous artists to not only create unique projects with a māori infusion but to celebrate the existence of indigenous groups similar to ours.

We want to see how indigenous art has evolved and what lengths indigenous artists go to to ensure their art survives and what it looks like, in the 21st century.

I am connected, not only because I am Māori but also a storyteller, it’s my responsibility to document and preserve culture in the only way I know how to, though documentary storytelling. So through indigenous eyes, we already will make a “different “ documentary.

It's a silent consciousness, it's a “knowing” and it's an understanding of why things are the way they are and an appreciation of the struggle to get there. Each of our talent, will be masters in their own right but they will also possess a humility which will draw the viewers into each person's physical and emotional journey’s as it will definitely be emotional.

Our talent will be ethically and morally challenged, but with an understanding of “indigenous” will see them responding differently to situations they find themselves in. Our artists will not only be observing and commenting, they will be sensing and experiencing but not rationalising… it is not about the presenters having read about the indigenous loss of art forms and cultures…but of loss being a part of our presenter's culture and history…it's a shared experience that we can not gauge fully by standing on the outside of the cage and poking the subjects with a stick.

It's been said that “art can either gives or rob life of meaning”. My vision is to show both extremes. We will look at the historic art forms and how people have had to adapt and redefine, indigenous art.

We are in a privileged position before we even start, being from NZ, we are neutral and we have a way about us that is non-confrontational and we allow things to unfold respecting people and are tolerant of the situations that we find ourselves in. Being Maori, approaching indigenous communities will not be daunting, it will be invigorating and exciting, as much of our traditions and beliefs are shared.

There will be beauty in tragedy and harshness in reality and our artists will use art as a way of communicating, and we will be witnessing a new language being born in each of the 12 episodes.

We are offering shared experiences, that will reach far and wide as we will also be utilising Social Media. Each and every person involved will have a different interpretation…but rest assured it will be a truth.