Todd Karehana is a name to look out for in the creative arts sector.

The Māori director and writer are off to Toronto, Canada in recognition of one of his personal pieces that delves into some emotional struggles he's faced along his journey.

He says his creations helped him deal with the death of his brother.

“The film explores my experience of losing my brother when I was ten years old and it’s a collection of stories and experiences not only for me but for my mum and various family members and how we've grieved and continued to.”

He's just finished writing the second series of Māori Television's urban rangatahi web series Ahikāroa and says his experiences are what guides his craft.

“It’s creating stories and bringing them to life that in some way help us resolve feelings or experiences that we have in our own lives.”

Adding to his long list of credentials, the Kawerau native also graduated with a Master of Arts Degree in Screen Production, gaining honours in drama directing this year.

Karehana and his friends have just launched an online platform to support their creative works.  

“We want to experiment with images of ourselves as Māori or Fijian or queer New Zealanders, women and make art or films or create kākahu that speaks to that how we feel about ourselves.”

There are many projects in the pipeline but he's excited to head to the film festival next week to present his works to the world.