Winner for 2004 NZ documentary film grant is Serena Stevensen.
ìTa Mokoî (working title) ©serena Stevenson
What do I want to achieve from making a documentary about contemporary Ta Moko?
I wish to contribute to a feeling of pride amongst Maori and I want to elicit a positive emotional response from non-Maori. I want to inform and educate people about a living culture and traditions that have been less accessible in the past.
Four Personal Stories. Having a tattoo on your face is not a decision thatís made lightly. Because of how it looks, what it represents and how people perceive it, its something that no matter what angle you look at it, it causes strong feelings. Everyone has a view ñ sometimes poorly informed ñ but none-the-less. I want to look at it from as many angles as possible using four different people from different iwi(tribes) all with different reasons, experiences, personalities, and four different journeys. Two male and two female, All with different Ta Moko artists.
Dispelling as much negativity regarding Moko as we can. This film will be the tool for informing people about the Maori culture ñ a culture that is uniquely New Zealand, Aotearoa.
Our winner for this year's New Zealand film grant goes to Paul Davidson for "Giving it all Away"!
A beautifully crafted film telling the inspirational story of adventurer / philanthropist Sir Roy McKenzie and his father JR. They built a retail empire in early New Zealand that became an innovative charity to change the lives of Kiwis struggling with disability, disadvantage, age or environment.
From pioneering days in the distant colony, through wartime Britain, to stunning mountain adventures, 'Giving It All Away' is a unique look at New Zealand and New Zealanders, going beyond the scenery and the clichÈs to reveal the character, determination, humour and achievement that shaped the people of this small island nation. A heart-warming story of wealth and generosity, achievement and failure, tragedy and laughter, and the inspirational Kiwi heroes who dreamed of a better caring community - and did something about it.
DIRECTOR - PAUL DAVIDSON
Paul Davidson is attending the SxSW Festival and will be based at the NZ Music Commission stand. He can be contacted at the Holiday Inn Town Lake or email firstname.lastname@example.org
||Paul tells unique New Zealand stories from his studio in the heart of the beautiful Marlborough wine country of South Island, New Zealand.
Paul won the inaugural "NZ Film Award" from the Roy W Dean Foundation which provided industry support for "Giving It All Away" from sponsors including Kodak, Panavision and Peter Jackson's own Film Unit.
WHAT OTHERS SAY -
"Paul tells the story very well, he has all kinds of wonderful touches which made it one of the best films of its kind I've ever seen. It's a wonderful tribute and witness to an extraordinary New Zealander"
George Andrews, Producer G.A.P., Auckland NZ
"Not only is this film a great piece of filmmaking, but the ethos of Roy McKenzie, who the film is about, it's the New Zealand I have always believed in. Seeing this film took me back to all of that. It had me in tears."
Richard Clarke, Editor, Kiwicafe, Venice CA
"We have just seen the most wonderful Kiwi film at the Mary Pickford Theatre here in Hollywood. It was packed - mostly with filmmakers - and they loved it. It was a joy to be there."
Carole Dean, President, Roy W Dean Foundation, Oxnard CA
"It was great, it's an astonishing life completely interwoven with many of the things I think are important about New Zealand. It celebrates the achievement of an astonishing New Zealander who in many ways is what we all hope New Zealand is about."
Hon Judith Tizard, Associate Minister of Culture & Heritage, NZ Government.
ByteSize PO Box 38 Renwick Marlborough NZ Tel +64 3 572 9683 Fax +64 3 572 9693 email@example.com
Paul Davidson giving copy of|
his award winning Doc to
Prime Minister Helen Clark
FACE VALUE project background
Since 2000, Auckland photographer and filmmaker Serena Stevenson has conducted research, interviews and in-depth documentation into the art of facial ta moko (Maori tattoo).
Self-motivated and self-funded, the FACE VALUE project has taken her on an in-depth journey into the Maori culture, which began with photographing filming a three-year period of the life of George Nuku, Maori carver, and his journey in the undertaking of full body and facial ta moko.
The result is a comprehensive portfolio, containing photographic and filmic documentation of ta moko recipients, artists and their whanau. It is a unique body of work, based on her empathy and long-term collaborative process with all the artists and individuals involved.
FACE VALUE aims to be the first body of work that looks at contemporary facial ta moko in its true environment. The work resolutely steps away from the studio and posed portraiture work by artists that have exhibited until now. Focusing on human intimacy and artistic communication.
FACE VALUE elevates facial ta moko and the significance behind why Maori get this done. It expresses the life work of the ta moko artists and pays tribute to their roles and careers as artists, community leaders, and family members. The images signify the development of ta moko as an art form in recent years, and aim to counteract the fascination held by international media and popular culture with stereotypical portrayal of Maori wearing fierce facial tattooing.
The FACE VALUE works pays homage to ten facial ta moko recipients, artists and their whanau, (family). Exclusively invited by the recipients and artists, Serenaís photographs and film footage encapsulate the complete process of receiving facial ta moko, before, during and after the session(s) with the artist. Her portraits both represent the individual and their whakapapa (lineage) paying tribute to the rare and intimate relationship that develops between recipient (wearer) and ta moko artist (practitioner).
ìMy photographic/film work is about intimacy, and simultaneously, is about challenging peopleís perceptions.î SERENA STEVENSON
Statement from the artist/director’s notes
Having a tattoo on your face is not a decision thatís made lightly. Because of how it looks, what it represents and how people perceive it, facial moko is something that causes strong feelings and reactions. Everyone has an opinion about tattoo and ta moko ñ often poorly informed or overly subjective. FACE VALUE looks at facial ta moko from as many angles as possible using real experiences of recipients and artists as the backbone of the work, dispelling generic negativity and misunderstanding of the art. In addition, FACE VALUE gives an intimate human connection, instilling a positive insight for Maori and non-Maori into the life and connections of this living art ñ a culture that is uniquely from Aotearoa New Zealand.
I have been working with indigenous peoples for many years now, looking at the effects the contemporary world has on a people with a greater connection to nature and their cultural origins and traditions. FACE VALUE charts a focus on this transition from the roots of ta moko to a unique time of modern evolution.
My six years of research and documenting ta moko has been a crucial investment of time to allow for the relationships to grow, not only between the recipient and artist, but also between myself and the people that appear in the images.î
Over the years I have had much interest in the work, most by commercial agencies looking for moko wearers to go into advertisements for Volvo cars etc. The influence mainstream media and film outside of New Zealand has on Maori facial moko sends the wrong message judging Maori Moko on face Value. Constantly the art is attributed to gangs, to the darker side of society, and is exploited for commercial gain. The language of facial moko in America and Europe is not controlled by the moko artists or wearers themselves. The only way to counteract this perception is to bring the true nature of facial moko to the outside world, told by the artists and wearers themselves. Digital multimedia the Internet this negative perspective is amplified. My aim is to use such resources to counteract the judgement on face Value.
This is not just about Maori it is about all indigenous culture that is exploited for tourism, consumerism and fashion. My aim with this work is to challenge this, bring the art to the world through multimedia.
This 15-minute instillation will be produced as one piece with 2-minute sections that can be cut for mulit media distribution.
To assist the coverage of the film there will be street posters of some of the images, a landscape, an empty room, a close up of moko in the skin, a silhouette of two people
A 10-minute instillation will be shown in galleries and museums supporting 40 large-scale prints representing intimacy with land, family and relationships between artist and recipient encapsulating the true art of facial moko.
The film Instillation will be viewed on two-dimensional graphic outline of heads with no faces, the images will bleed over the outline of the faces to show the expansion of the mind. That we can think for ourselves beyond what we see from our own confines of our own societies.
Below a list of names involved with the work.
Turumakina Duleyz (Auckland) & Mark Kopua (East Coast)
Mark and Tu both ta moko artists
Mera Penehira (Auckland) & Christine Harvey (Christchurch)
Mera an academic invited Serena to photograph the relationship, between Christine and herself, and the intimacy in receiving her moko kauae
George Nuku (Auckland/UK) & Haki Williams (Taupo)
Haki did the facial moko (his first) and most of the extensive body tattoo that George wears.
Bruce & Shane (first names only have been given) (Otaki)
Using traditional uhi (chisel) technique, both men have been tattooing each other for many years, and now live together in the same house. These two men are undertaking a life long journey to their moko kanohi a unique relationship, their practice behind closed doors Serena has been welcomed to this undiscovered practice of facial moko.
Julie Kipa (Whakatane)
Julie Kipa a mentor and close personal friend of Serena. Julie a prominent ta moko artist, is one of only a few females working in the art form. In this project, she will complete a moko kauae for her recipient.
POTENTIAL DISTRIBUTION AND SCREENING OPPORTUNITIES:
PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM MASSACHUSETTS, US.
PATAKA GALLERY WELLINGTON
FIFO TAHITI FILM FESTIVAL
The New Zealand film grant is for all residents of New Zealand. If you are a resident living abroad, you can enter but you must film in New Zealand. This grant is goods and services from heart-felt companies who want to see documentaries made on film that "are unique and make a contribution to society". You will own the rights to this film.From the Heart Productions requests a producer credit and a "thank you credit" on the film to all of the donors, individually.
This film grant gives the winner the following:
- 16mm film stock from Kodak
- Processing by Film Unit
- Camera from Panavision
- Communications equipment from Tait Communications
- Editing on an Avid by David
- Music for the documentary from Bobby Robinson of the USA
- Editors will consider the project and their availability before committing
- Film to tape Transfer by Digital Post
- The WWWeb Company will build a web site for the winning film
- $1000 in legal services granted by Farry & Co Barristers & Solicitors of Auckland
- $500 in voice over services from Kevin J. Philbin www.voiceovernyc.net
- $279 in free storyboarding software from PowerProduction.