Session 9 – Dimensions of Difference: Filmmaking from a Māori World View (Christina MILLIGAN, Auckland University of Technology)

While the most obvious situations for film professionals working in multicultural contexts may be coproductions or globally dispersed productions, it can equally be the case that film professionals work across cultural borders within a single country.  The film production ecology of Aotearoa New Zealand is an industrial and creative space controlled almost solely by Pākehā (European New Zealanders or settlers). However, since the turn of the century, Māori (Indigenous) filmmakers have risen to increasing prominence. Māori filmmakers are becoming owners of the means of production and of the intellectual property generated when a film is made. Māori storytelling is no longer expected to confine itself to what the settler culture deems ‘Indigenous’ and the career of Taika Waititi is perhaps the most visible marker of this internationally.

However, this position has not been arrived at without a long struggle, reflecting the social and political conflicts of the late 20th Century as Māori demanded recognition of their rightful place as the Indigenous people of the land.  Story sovereignty, or Māori control over Māori stories, is the heart of enterprise for Māori filmmakers and implicit in this is how the story is made, that is, the process of filmmaking. This presentation examines the dimensions of difference in the practice of Māori film producers: their motivations, their styles of leadership and how they bring te ao Māori (the Māori way of being) into the day-to-day management of a film production. With non-Indigenous financiers and audiences to please, these producers walk simultaneously in two worlds, bringing their understanding of mainstream expectations together with their Indigenous ways of being, to realise film stories told from the Indigenous heart. Concepts such as tikanga (protocol), manaakitanga (respect for others), whanaungatanga (kinship) and mana (prestige, spiritual power) are elements of the daily practice of these producers, as they adapt the Western-originated model of the filmmaking process to their own ends.

This research project originated with the researcher’s own practice as an Indigenous screen producer and incorporates interviews with key Māori film producers as well as autoethnography and case study.  The theoretical underpinning is Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s systems model of creativity, which provides a framework for locating the work of the film producer within its surrounding social and cultural contexts. Through critical exploration of the producer’s practice, the researcher has developed a revised version of Csikszentmihalyi’s model which incorporates and extends the original by connecting the elements of the systems model through the holistic framework of te ao Māori.

Discutantes : Cecilia Tirtaine (Nantes Université / CRINI) et Katalin Pór (Université Paris 8 / ESTCA)

Dr Christina Milligan is a researcher-practitioner and teacher of screenwriting and screen production at Auckland University of Technology. She is an award-winning producer of feature and television drama and documentaries, and her work reflects her Indigenous heritage as a member of the Ngāti Porou tribe of the Māori people.  She serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Screenwriting and is the government-appointed chair of Te Puna Kairangi (Premium Production Fund), a fund designed to support high-end screen production as part of the NZ government’s response to the effects of Covid-19 on the screen industry.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1999). Implications of a systems perspective for the study of creativity.  In R. Sternberg (Ed.), Handbook of creativity (pp. 312-335). Cambridge University Press.

McIntyre, P., Fulton, J., & Paton, E. (Eds.) (2016). The Creative system in action: Understanding cultural production and practice. Palgrave Macmillan.

Milligan, C. (2022). (Executive Producer). We Are Still Here. Feature film – Indigenous co-production

Australia and New Zealand.

Milligan, C. (2021). Script development as a collective enterprise: The writing of the Indigenous feature film Waru.  In S. Taylor & C. Batty (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Script Development (pp. 175-185). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.

Milligan, C. (2015). Sites of exuberance: Barry Barclay and Fourth Cinema, ten years on. International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics, 11(3).

Citer ce billet
christeltailliberttps (2023, 27 août). Session 9 – Dimensions of Difference: Filmmaking from a Māori World View (Christina MILLIGAN, Auckland University of Technology). Transcultural Production Studies. Consulté le 23 juin 2024, à l’adresse

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