Toronto is a cool city. And it’s grown, big time since I was last there in 2000. We flew via San Fran, 12 hours then another 6 to Canada. The disadvantage of living so far away from the rest of the world are the long haul flights, but that’s the only disadvantage (-:


Flying out of San Fran


My film The Pa Boys was invited to ImagineNATIVE which is the largest indigenous film festival in the World.  They celebrated their 15th year and it was an honour to be part of it. So awesome! The showcase this year were Aboriginal films (Australia) and with a Maori (NZ) contingent of around 20 people, a huge amount of Native Canadians, American Indians and many more from around the globe it truly was a celebration. We hung out at the theatre, went to all the functions, ate a lot of delicious kai (food) and of course watched a lot of films. Not as much as we would’ve liked. There were too many! Didn’t go sightseeing, unless you call walking endless blocks to find decent coffee. It’s what we NZ addicts do. And Darkhorse cafe, which was set up by an Australian was closest to great NZ coffee, ha. They have the usual, cappuchino, latte etc but we have something here and Aus that the rest of the world doesn’t seem to have. It’s called a flatwhite, which is more like espresso with much less milk than a latte. Try it.

dark-horse darkhorse

Wandering around Toronto you learn a lot about the local culture. It is truly a multicultural city unlike anything we have here in Aotearoa. Blends and strains of all you could imagine, and more.

The organisers of the festival and local Toronto-ites are so hospitable and generous. It’s only when I’m in the northern hemisphere I realise how different looking Maori and Polynesian people are. Even in such a big mix of cultures we stand out. And people are curious and genuinely interested in who we are. It feels strange being exotic.

I didn’t take many photographs but here’s a few from my wanderings.

zombie1 Twins Hogtown toronto lift

Heading to Toronto and Hawaii film fests

So awesome to be heading to Toronto today. My film The Pa Boys is screening at ImagineNATIVE film festival and then at the Hawaiian International Film Festival. It’s such an honour. I’ve just checked the weather, as you do before travel. Toronto is 10C and Hawaii is 28C. So what to pack, lol. Should be a lot of fun… can check out the festival programmes here

Construction = Destruction

Soon to be destroyed to make way for a motorway. To me, progress would mean not destroying natural environments, ancestral land and archaeological sites for a new highway. There were other options but no. The powers that be still see Maori land as exploitable, because to them it’s just sitting there doing nothing. Well it actually is doing something. It is preserving the land, flora and fauna and our people who lived and died on this land. Believe it or not, some people still hold things as sacred. The dead, the environment and the history of place are all sacred.

Reflect1 Reflect2 reflect3 reflection reflectred