2nd April 2003

 

MAORI JUSTICE FILM GETS CLOSER TO BIG SCREEN

 

A feature film being made by a member of staff at the University of Lincoln is getting ever closer to the big screen.

 

‘Bring Me Justice’ is based on the true story of Maori Chief Mokomoko who was accused in 1866 of executing a missionary – a spy for the British government – and wrongfully hanged.

 

Mokomoko’s conviction conveniently allowed the British government to confiscate nearly 83,000 hectares of Maori land. 

 

Barbara Cairns, Head of Media Production at the university, has been researching and developing the film since she was contacted by Te Warana Ratima, the chief’s great-great-grandson, over 10 years ago.

 

“My contribution is to make the story more widely known to the world at large,” said Barbara, who was born in London but educated in New Zealand. “But it will be a feature film not a documentary.”

 

Last year the New Zealand Film Commission granted Barbara NZ $15,000 towards her work on the film and recently, having seen the first draft of the script, awarded her a further

NZ $20,000 towards development and production.

 

The commission panel congratulated Barbara and her team on a project that they felt had the potential to be a powerful and important New Zealand film.

 

“It is no small task to relate a story which draws on such a wealth of material while maintaining its integrity to the people (the Maori family) who are informing and supporting it,” said a commission spokesman.

 

In February this year the film project was selected for a script workshop in Wellington, New Zealand, run by a London-based company ARISTA, in conjunction with the New Zealand Film Commission, the British Council and Film Victoria.

 

“It is still early days,” said Barbara, “but receiving this funding is a second major step and is all very promising news.

 

“I am currently firming up arrangements with a New Zealand co-producer and hope to secure a distributor for the film shortly.”

 

The film will be shot on location in New Zealand with the majority of the cast and crew Maori.

 

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For more information contact: Gill Noakes, Press Assistant, University of Lincoln

Tel: 01522 886244 or Email: gnoakes@lincoln.ac.uk

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