Poi E: The Story of Our Song
A film about the unofficial national waiata (anthem) of Aotearoa and the community spirit of Pātea and Dalvanius Prime.
- 60 Minutes
POI E: The song behind our PRIDE is a story which brings to the screen, the life of Dalvanius Prime - a man who brought disco to Australia; the warmth of the Ngoi Pewhairangi, a community elder whose passion for indigenous Māori language; and the lives of the Patea Māori club, a traditional Māori Kapahaka (dance) group comprised of freezing workers from the small town Pātea. When Dalvanius returns to Pātea, he not only comes face-to-face with the reality of a dying mother but also to a devastated community whose livelihood was on the brink when the Freezing Works were shut down. The lives of everyone in Pātea were up in the air as families struggled to make ends meet. Dalvanius did the only one thing he could to make ends meet - tour and sing in a time when being Māori meant you had to watch where you step.
Tearepa Kahi - Director
Tearepa Kahi wrote and directed and edited the short film Taua, which won the best short film award at the 2007 National Geographic All Roads Festival (USA) and was awarded honorable mention at the 2007 ImagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival in Canada. His other short film, The Speaker, won the Friends of the Civic Award for Best Short Film and the 2006 Wairoa Māori Film Festival Short Film Drama (Aotearoa) Award.
He has also directed TV documentaries The Flight of Te Hookioi, which earned him a best director nomination at the 2010 Qantas Film and Television Awards; and First Time in Prison for TV3’s prestigious Inside New Zealand slot in 2008. His two most recent documentaries Allan Baldwin: In Frame and The Road to the Globe have just won prizes at the FIFO documentary festival.
Kahi is a former member of Te Paepae Ataata – the Māori Script Development Board and Chairperson of Nga Aho Whakaari – the Māori TV and Film Body.
Of Ngati Paoa and Waikato descent, he grew up in Christchurch in a musical family. At age 17 he was selected to perform in a play at the Christchurch Arts Festival. He was spotted by actor/director and Maori theatre pioneer Jim Moriarty, who asked him to join the theatre troupe Te Rakau Hua o te Wao Tapu. The troupe toured New Zealand, performing in schools, universities, prisons and marae. Kahi left the group after two and a half years to settle in Auckland, where he completed a degree in History and Maori at Auckland University.
He also worked as an actor playing Roroneto (Lorenzo) in Don Selwyn’s landmark te reo Maori feature film Te Tangata Whai Rawa o Weneti (The Maori Merchant of Venice) and roles in Shortland Street, the television series Mataku. Mt. Zion is his first feature film.
Alexander 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.
Reikura Kahi - Producer
Reikura was born in 1978 to two young parents who were both active in the Te Reo Māori ‘movement’, and both key contributors in the establishment of Hoani Waititi Marae.
Reikura was the first graduate of Kōhanga Reo and Kura Kaupapa education and was invited to the islands of Hawai’i in 1986 with her Kuia Letti Brown to share and explore the newly formed Hawaiian language intiative known as Punana Leo.
Reikura has been working in Māori broadcasting for over 25 years in radio, television and now film. She has filled many roles over the years from presenter, writer, tikanga advisor and was the commissioner at Māori Television for six years but has now moved into producing films with her husband, Tearepa Kahi for Jawbone Pictures.
In 2015, Reikura produced the Māori language feature, ‘Rōmeo Rāua ko Hurieta’ (Romeo & Juliet) for both the stage and screen.
POI E: the story of our song marks Reikura’s first film as a Producer and her next film is about to go into production in February 2017 – HERBS: songs of freedom slated for release in 2018.