Each March the Indigenous world comes together in Ōtaki, Aotearoa (New Zealand) to celebrate Indigenous screen storytelling at Māoriland Film Festival, the largest Indigenous film festival in the Southern Hemisphere.

Located on New Zealand’s Kāpiti Coast, Ōtaki is a vibrant seaside town where Māori culture and language thrives.

The 11th Māoriland FIlm Festival - MFF2024 will take place from March 20-24 2024

Films programmed at the Māoriland Film Festival and Māoriland Rangatahi Film Festival are eligible for Audience Choice awards. The following categories will be awarded at the Māoriland Red Carpet Party on Sunday 24 March. 

People's Choice - Drama (Feature) 
People's Choice -  Documentary (Feature) 
People's Choice - Short Drama
People's Choice - Short Documentary
Rangatahi Choice

Māoriland exists to uplift the perspective and stories of Indigenous peoples.

Māoriland considers film, video, digital and interactive media work and artwork (all mediums) made by Indigenous creatives.

To be eligible for your work to be presented or displayed by Māoriland, an Indigenous creative must be credited in a key role such as director, producer or screenwriter. Artworks must be created by an Indigenous individual.

The Indigenous creative must self-identify with and be recognised as an Indigenous person. Indigenous peoples are also known as Tangata Whenua, Aboriginal, Native, First Peoples or Tribal Peoples who belong to; or who have had an uninterrupted relationship with their land. This is distinct from those people who have arrived from another place to live in a country. The festival cannot advise an individual if they are Indigenous or not.

While a key creative involved in the project must be Indigenous, the issue or content of the film may be non-Indigenous. This recognises the diverse experiences, identities and perspectives of Indigenous people(s), worldwide.

Where the eligibility of a submitter is unclear, Māoriland may follow up with the submitter to clarify eligibility, or the work will be deemed to be ineligible.

Māoriland prioritises work that:

Innovatively presents unique and new Indigenous perspectives

Upholds the mana and inspiration of our storytellers - guided by our elders and taught by our children.

That respects our audience - Māoriland is rooted in the traditions and language of the hapu and iwi of Otaki. It is our honour to extend manaakitanga to all who present their work and experience those presented within Māoriland.

Provides a portal to the Indigenous world for ALL peoples.

Relevance of work in regards to emerging themes and issues that shape our wider Indigenous experience.

Requirements for submitters:

Submissions made via FilmFreeway will be imported to our festival submissions software, Zone. You will be asked to review your submission to ensure that the details are correct following the import process.

All non-English language films must have English or Māori subtitles for final viewing, Indigenous languages may be unsubtitled if the overarching message of the film is clear.

Preview screeners and exhibition masters must have no commercial blacks or broadcaster promos.

The deadline for film festival submissions is October 31 2023. Late submissions will be considered until November 30 2023. If your work is not ready for the deadline and you wish it to be considered for this year's Festival, please contact maddy@maorilandfilm.co.nz immediately

Submission Fees

Submissions open (FREE): September 1 2023

Submissions close: October 31 2023

Late Submissions ($25 NZD) close: November 30 2023

Māoriland Film Festival is run by a not-for-profit charitable trust. The submission fees assist us with the hefty administration and time it takes to create our festival programme

Read the submission instructions carefully before submitting.
Incomplete Submission Forms will not be processed.

Submission Categories:

- Māoriland Film Festival (general screening programme)

- Māoriland Rangatahi Film Festival (youth-targeted screening programme)

- M.A.T.C.H (creative technology exhibition - VR, gaming & new technology)

- Installations & Light Artworks

During the festival Toi Matarau gallery presents its annual exhibition of Māori & Indigenous art. For inclusion in this programme please contact Toi Matarau directly at toi@maorilandfilm.co.nz.

If selected for the festival, we can only accept hi-res downloads and by mail including blu-ray and/DVD/digital files.
We do not accept DCP files.

Please note:

Māoriland Film Festival will not accept physical submissions.

Participants will be notified by email of the selection results by January 30 2024 (date approximate).

If selected, artist/screening fees are issued to the Indigenous creative as indicated on the Submission Form, or to a recognised distribution company. Awards will be given to the Indigenous creative.

If selected for the festival, exhibition copies must be sent in by February 19, 2024.

Programmers may consider a limited number of works at their discretion where work has been created with genuine and mutual participation from an Indigenous person or group of peoples. References and further background will be requested for works submitted under this category.

Overall Rating
  • What a lovely time! Everyone who organised made it a lovely experience and all the films were beautiful! Otaki is also one of the nicest places I’ve ever been. Thank you Maoriland

    April 2024
  • Angelique Kalani Axelrode

    Incredible festival and beautiful community.

    April 2024
  • Vanessa Patea

    I absolutely loved this festival, it was an incredible experience to be a part of it! We had 2 short documentaries and a VR experience in the MATCH space. I highly recommend it to all indigenous creators around the world.

    March 2024
  • Gerard Elmore

    I would agree with others have said. No one in the world is doing what Māoriland is doing. They are building a hub for the indigenous community and becoming the indigenous Sundance. Always an honor to have our teams be a part of it all.

    March 2024
  • The greatest indeginous film festival on the planet

    September 2023