NZIFF released the Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts selection, featuring Kōkako, written and directed by DEGANZ member Douglas Brooks (Te Ati Haunui-a-Pāpārangi, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Ngāti Kahungungu, Ngāti Pākehā).
The short film studies grief through the perspective of an aspiring ornithologist as she braves the Aotearoa wilderness to search for an extinct bird, the kōkako. However, when a brief moment of cell phone coverage delivers the news of her grandmother’s passing, Ashley must process her loss alone in the forest.
One of the curators of the programme, Leo Koziol, commented on the film:
The underlying theme is dark and mournful, but this bounty of birds is a fantastical delight from start to finish, never will I think the same again when I visit my Ngāhere.
All finalists in this programme are eligible for the Wellington UNESCO City of Film award for Best Film with a $3,000 cash prize. NZIFF audiences will also vote for the $1,000 reward Letterboxd Audience Award, announced at the festival’s closing night in Te Whanganui-a-Tara.
Best of luck during the festival to the Kōkako team!
Last updated on 5 July 2023