Big Screen Symposium

Renae Maihi (Ngati Whakaue, Ngapuhi) is an award-winning & critically acclaimed writer & director in theatre & film.

After completing a drama degree in 2005 she went on to write her debut play NGA MANURERE, starring Keisha Castle-Hughes. NZ Herald Best of 2009 favoured NGA MANURERE as the “surprise jewel of the year”.

The short film REDEMPTION, which she co-wrote with Tim Balme & Katie Wolfe, travelled to Berlin Film Festival, Sundance & won the Best Short Film at Toronto’s Imaginative Film Festival 2010. Renae then went on to write & direct her NZFC funded, award-winning short film BUTTERFLY (PUREREHUA) which screened at international film festivals including Toronto’s imagineNATIVE.

Her play PATUA won Renae the Adam NZ Playwrights award for Best Play by a Maori Playwright. In its debut season directed by Renae, critics called PATUA a “NZ classic” & the NBR noted that it should be “studied in every high school in NZ.”

In 2015, Renae directed an NZ on Air funded music video for LOCKDOWN by Rezist, before spending two months in New York City at NYFA developing her filmmaking skills with the support of the NZ Film Commission and the Ngāti Whakaue Education Endowment Trust. Whilst there, she wrote and directed her most recent short film MANNAHATTA, shot entirely on location in New York City. The film will begin its international festival run in October this year in Toronto.

She is currently one of the directors selected by the DEGNZ for a female director focused incubator initiative. Furthermore, Renae, along with two other directors, was selected by the NZFC for the one-year accelerator mentoring initiative, which grants her direct mentorship with experienced directors and opportunities, such as the MIFF accelerator program, with the overall view of getting her to feature film level.

In 2016 Renae was selected by BSAG Productions as one of eight Māori women directors for WARU, a collaborative feature film with some of NZ’s top filmmaking talent.

It is her ambition to begin her career as a feature film writer/director with her trilogy series THE WHITE FEATHER PROPHECIES.

See Renae Maihi in the following session:

WARU: Breaking the silence – Sat 24th September, 11:00 am.