A cinematic youngster named Bub has landed two 16-year-old Māori filmmakers an international debut in Canada, following in the footsteps of their idol Taika Waititi at last month’s Toronto Film Festival for Jojo Rabbit.
Co-directors Oriwa Hakaraia and Te Mahara Tamehana will be premiering their first-ever short film Bub at Toronto’s Imaginative Indigenous Film Festival. Bub tells the story of a young boy who finds himself alone at home after school after his nana goes missing.
Tamehana, from Kaitaia, said he hoped the story would show international audiences “how important whānau is”.
Hakaraia said Waititi was “definitely an idol” for them.
"He's paved the way," she said.
The pair crowdfunded over $6,000 to get them to Toronto.
Māori broadcaster Tainui Stephens said the film was an example of young people “getting out there and doing it.”
“It’s just a simple story that has layers to it,” he said.
"Their view of the world is very clear and there's some clarity in their vision we should pay attention to."
The film was shot in the Māoriland Hub, an arts space in Ōtaki on the Kāpiti Coast.