Ever The Land
An exploration of the bond between people and their land through a landmark undertaking of design and construction by one of Aotearoa New Zealand's most passionately independent Māori tribes, Ngāi Tūhoe.
- Alexander Behse
- Sarah Grohnert
- Full-Length Film
- Subject Matter
- Identity, Community Portrait, Environment & Sustainability
- Featured In
The setting is the forest region of Te Urewera and Tūhoe are an indigenous people fighting to rebuild and to claim their rights. For the past 150 years, the relationship between the Tūhoe Maori tribe and the New Zealand government has been defined by longstanding grievances over severe colonisation experiences such as illegal land confiscations and the devastating consequences of scorched earth policies. The film captures a period of change and tremendous foresight: Tūhoe are negotiating an apology and settlement from the Crown, and constructing an architectural gem of a community centre using radically sustainable methods. Tradition and environmentalism are brought together, and the film gives us a stirring depiction of Indigenous pride.
The new building is the binding character in this observational documentary that immerses us in a culture that is tightly woven into its land and an architecture that is defined by its integrity to it. This is a film about past and future, tradition and modernity. Most of all, though, it’s about the grandest hopes—and what it takes to fulfill them.
Sarah Grohnert - Director
Sarah Grohnert is a director/editor with a strong sense of visual storytelling and the ability to bring an endless amount of patience and curiosity to her projects. Originally trained as an editor in her native Germany, Sarah studied directing at the Arts Institute Bournemouth in the UK and subsequently lived and worked in London for 5 years. Sarah is a New Zealand resident since 2011. Ever The Land is Sarah's debut feature documentary.
Alex Behse - Producer
Alexander Behse is an award-winning creative producer who’s eclectic body of work has resonated across the wider Pacific. From high-end documentaries to celebrated prime-time series, Behse’s drive for risk-taking treatments, engaging subjects and his eye for talent have made him one of the most innovative and prolific young producers of indigenous, factual and adventure programming in the region today.
Born and raised in Germany Alexander Behse settled in New Zealand in 2002. After fast building a reputation as an editor at one of New Zealand's leading production houses Behse turned his hand to producing. The result was three award-winning documentaries The Flight of Te Hookio (2009), Allan Baldwin: In Frame (2011) and The Road to the Globe (2012) all for leading indigenous broadcaster Maori Television.
Behse exploded into mainstream programming with Radar across the Pacific – a prime-time factual TV series that took top NZ presenter Te Radar on a playful journey inside the many communities, cultures & histories of the wider Pacific Islands. This celebrated series was a ratings success on local screens and won Best Factual TV Series award at the 2012 New Zealand TV Awards and established Behse as a major producer. Behse is currently producing a second series of this hit show and has a feature film in development with Telefilm Canada.
Behse is a hands-on producer committed to excellence in storytelling. Behse will continue to tell the most interesting stories in the most interesting ways, holding dear his boutique brand borne of an innate ability to challenge while captivating viewers with out-of-the-box visual and narrative treatments.