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.


Films screened at Māoriland Film festival 2019 are eligible for People’s Choice Awards for Best Short Film, Best Documentary, Best Feature Film, and Best Youth Film.

Laurels will be sent to prize-winning films.

More categories may be established at the discretion of the festival.

If you have any questions or need support, please contact maddy@maorilandfilm.co.nz

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

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

To be eligible for Māoriland an Indigenous creative must be credited in a key role such as director, producer or screenwriter.

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.

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 will follow up with the submitter to clarify eligibility.

Māoriland prioritises work that:

Innovates to present unique and new Indigenous perspectives.

Provides a portal to the Indigenous world for ALL peoples.

Upholds the mana (respect for) and inspiration of our storytellers – guided by our elders and taught by our children.

Respects our audience

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

Programmers may consider a limited number of works at its discretion where a 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
  • marianne george

    MFF stand proud as a supportive hub of Indigenous filmmaking. MFF leadership was so very organized, hospitable, and thorough in responding to our needs. It was tough that the March 2020 virus response made it imposslble for us to join in and for many to gather. But decisions had to be made and Taumako and Hawaii colleagues and I are determined to return next year. 2021 MFF will surely be the most joyful and intensely creative filmmaker gathering ever.

    March 2020
  • thank you dear festival
    its my idea about your festival in my instagram page

    March 2020
  • Tristin Greyeyes

    Very supportive, loving, and cultural environment. I enjoyed every single second being here. I hope to go again one day. I highly recommend this festival.

    June 2019
  • Alex L

    This was a magical film festival, I highly recommend everyone attend if you can make the trip. Everyone on the Maoriland team is so kind, thoughtful and it feels like you are being welcomed into the family. Thank you so much for a life changing experience! Can't wait to attend again in the future!

    April 2019
  • I had an awesome week of experiences at Maoriland Film Festival 2019. If your film is selected, be sure to make the trip to beautiful Aotearoa. The organisers and their fantastic team will show you the most amazing hospitality and love. Superb screenings with Q&As in excellent venues and engaged audiences as well as a terrific range of workshops and cultural events that all take place within the super-welcoming town of Ōtaki. I hope to be back ASAP...
    Ngā mihi nui, Taratoa.

    April 2019