The 2023 Wao Film Festival: Regeneration for Generations
There is nothing quite like watching a really good film. Plunging into someone else’s world, riding the waves of delight and beauty, horror and hilarity created by sound and moving image. And a good story doesn’t just bring out the feels. It has the ability to change us, to flip the way we look at the world. At a time when our radically shifting world is calling for creative solutions, this may be exactly what we need.
With this power of story in mind, the team at Wao Aotearoa is delighted to announce the inaugural Wao Film Festival. On 18th - 21st of May at the Lake Wānaka Centre, a selection of 18 short films and documentaries will celebrate what we think is some of the finest storytelling happening in the world right now.
Sink deep into the ancient wisdom of celestial navigation with Whetu Marama. In Honeylands, take a quiet and poignant look at the last female bee-hunter in Europe and her gentle, time-tried Macedonian beekeeping practices. Follow fashion designer Amy Powney in Fashion Reimagined, on her quest to create a sustainable collection in the time of fast fashion. Take an intimate look into the world of an Afghanistani migrant in Europe in the award-winning Flee.
Though these films are varied in subject, they all look to the past to inspire the future. They’re stories which point to threads across space, too, highlighting the way we relate to each other and our natural world, and the interconnectedness of ecological, social and economic systems. They show, beautifully, how nothing exists in isolation. We think that together they paint a genuine picture of what sustainability really means.
The festival programme will be spread across nine sessions, and we’ll be joined by guest speakers to keep the conversations rolling. With films for the whole family, these stories are the kind which will take you into their world and send you out the door thinking more deeply than when you came in. They’re an invitation to slow down and listen, and a space to reflect.
Come to one film, or come to every session; there are ticketing options available for everyone. For those who can’t make the sessions or prefer to watch on their own time, the entire festival is available online.
For Wao Aotearoa Co-founder and Communications Director Arna Craig, one of the most important themes across the festival programme is connection. “It was a film that connected fellow co-founder Monique Kelly and I in our cause and later to establish Wao, so we deeply feel the impact of connection through film. We specifically hope that those who are just edging their way into understanding climate change and how they can play a part will enjoy a film or two and let themselves be led into deeper thinking about our planet and the future ,” says Craig.
Stories are powerful, and even more so when we gather to tell them. As director of That Sugar Film Damon Gameau said at the 2022 Wao Summit, “We move by stories, by visions and hope of a better day tomorrow when we wake up, that’s how we operate as humans.”
Come along and be inspired. Pack a picnic, bring the kids and immerse yourself in some hope and learning. We’re looking forward to seeing you there.
Main image (Supplied/ Wao)
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