Italy has suffered greatly in these grave times and our lockdown is only now slowly being lifted. We are all still cautious and aware that we must continue to be vigilant. The Whakapapa Film Festival is about film makers interacting and having the opportunity to talk and share experiences whilst enjoying southern Italian hospitality. We have watched events unfold over the last few weeks, waiting as long as we could to make a decision but we now accept that the only decision we can make, to maintain the integrity of the Whakapapa Film Festival and because of our responsibility to our small town, is to cancel the festival for this year. Our sister Festival in New Zealand, the well respected Wairoa Film Festival will be going ahead as planned.

We thank you all for your entries, our selectors have thoroughly enjoyed watching your films. Art and culture and creativity are even more important in these dark times.

We look forward to your entries next year and even more, we look forward to hosting some of you in our beautiful hill top town.


The aim of the Whakapapa Film Festival (WFF) is to promote and spread documentary cinema, ethnographic cinema and anthropological audiovisual research.
The main focus of the festival is culture in general, with a special emphasis on Māori culture which provides the word and the philosophy for the event - Whakapapa.
Whakapapa binds all things animate and inanimate. The inter and intra-relationships between all living and inanimate things.

The Whakapapa Film Festival is organised and promoted by numerous sponsors and two private individuals and is strictly in line with the principles of a non-profit organisation.

The competition includes documentaries and short-themed films: anthropology, cultures, rituals, the environment, human rights, biodiversity, war, integration, sustainable development, the relationship between man and the environment.

The Whakapapa Film Festival is in its third year in 2020, and for the first time will be partnering with the Wairoa Māori Film Festival of New Zealand for inclusion of a selection of Māori films in the festival.

- Gold Koru for international documentary competition (minimum length of 30 minutes)
- Special Mention

- Gold Koru for international competition in short films and documentaries (maximum length of 30 minutes)
- Special Mention

Admission Procedure.
Films of any nationality and a duration of more than 30 minutes for documentaries and less than 30 minutes for short films and short documentaries, both completed after January 1, 2018, may be entered for the selection process.

All films should have subtitles in English/and or Italian.

All the material for selected films.
In case of selection, all films must have subtitles in English and/or Italian.
For the h264 version the separate subtitles file is required.
All the material for the selected films:
1) by email at or downloadable upload to FilmFreeway / Vimeo:
- h264 file in height definition (1920x1080) + .srt Italian or English subtitles
- two images hq of the film
- the poster of the movie
- a synopsis of the film

2) send to address: Joseph Rickit, (Whakapapa Film Festival), Largo S. Basile 21, Irsina (MT), 75022, Italy
- Bluray or DVD of the movie with English or Italian subtitles

it is very important to send or upload the film file to guarantee the projection in the festival in case of loss or Bluray/DVD malfunction

The authors and/or the producers of the selected films will be informed by July 20th 2020 and all the material must be sent by July 31 2020.

There is no formal communication for unselected films other than FilmFreeway automatic advisement. The selection, the general planning and the projection schedule are the exclusive responsibility of the Management. No correspondence will be entered into.

Registration procedure:
You can register by filling out the registration form found on FilmFreeway.
Authors and/or producers answer for the content of their works and declare, with the registration to the Festival, to have fulfilled all obligations towards third parties deriving from copyright.
Registration requires the submission of any material sent to the Archive of the Whakapapa Film Festival with the possibility of using it for educational, research and promotional purposes, even in locations and contexts other than the Festival, with the exception of any commercial activity, to protect the interests of authors and producers.
The Festival also acts as an intermediary between the rights owner and the distribution.

Overall Rating
  • saroja ponnambalam

    A wonderful festival experience that creates an intimate experience for filmmakers and locals to connect and bond around the documentary/ethnographic filmmaking practice. Amazing hospitality (including food and accommodation) provided by the festival founders and local volunteers. Programming has a strong social justice lens and a lot of integrity. Screenings also create a supportive environment for filmmakers to learn from one another with enthusiastic audiences. I hope the festival can secure funding to continue growing and advancing itself and its operations.

    August 2019
  • Ana Bárcenas Torres

    I was very sad for not attending personally, but the festival team was in constant communication, and were always very kind and generous. Highly recommended for its human quality and their effort to show films according to their identity as a festival.

    August 2019
  • Mejri Ghassen

    One of my best experience in film festival... Thanks you <3

    August 2019
  • Lam Can-zhao

    Wonderful festival, with the true independent spirit. Thank-you for programming my film.

    December 2018
  • Cyprien Ponson

    Through a generous and delicious welcome, a rare importance given to the meeting time, a local anchorage in the village of Irsina, a deep communion between the ethical and artistic dimension, constant exchanges with the inhabitants/guests/films under the sign of the interconnection of worlds, the Whakapapa festival was a wonderful experience of theoretical and practical sharing of cinema.

    July 2018