Ainsley Gardiner (Ngāti Awa, Te Whānau Apanui, Ngāti Pikiao)
Kei te hira rawa atu taku whakanui i to tātou kura tongarewa i tohu Mana Wahine mō tēnei tau rua mano tua ngahuru mā waru. Mō te whakakōrero i ngā pūrākau Māori, a tātou tikanga me te whakatiketike i te reo Māori ki runga rawa i roto i te ao kiriata, kāore he painga i tō tatou toa ihu whakaihu waka, ringa whero o te ao kiriata Māori nei, i a Ainsley Gardiner o Te Whānau-a-Apanui o Ngāti Pikiao me Ngāti Awa. Whakanuia e te iwi too taatou mareikura o te tohu Mana Wahine a Ainsley Gardiner, Nōu te waa!
Ainsley Gardiner has a long and impressive body of work and screen industry experience. She graduated from the Avalon Film and TV production course in 1995, going on to intern for Larry Parr at Kahukura Production. Though she wanted to write and direct, she fell into producing, co-producing the 26-part Lovebites series, and short film, The Hole (1998). She went on to produce the ‘low-budget’ feature film Kombi Nation (2003) in Europe.
In 2004 she established Whenua Films with actor Cliff Curtis, to promote indigenous story-telling on screen. They produced Taika Waititi’s award-winning short films, Two Cars One Night (2003), and Tama Tū (2004), then his first two features, Eagle vs Shark (2007), and the incredibly successful Boy (2010).
At the same time, Ainsley was appointed to Te Paepae Ataata, which was born out of the aspirations of the pioneer Māori film-makers, Barry Barclay, Merata Mita, Tama Poata, Don Selwyn, Tungia Baker and Wi Kuki Kaa, all of whom are now deceased. They set a high standard for creative excellence and Māori integrity. Te Paepae Ataata was set up in 2008 to nurture and celebrate a Māori cinematic voice and to provide an alternative development pathway for Maori filmmakers. In 2017, Ainsley made her debut as a feature film director, working alongside seven other Māori women to make Waru, which has won critical acclaim nationally and internationally. She balances all this with being a mother of a young family.
The award will be presented at the Wairoa Māori Film Awards……
The WIFT Mana Wāhine Award recognises and supports the achievements of Māori Women in film and television who work tirelessly, diligently and with vision to support and promote Māori culture, Te Reo Māori, Tikanga Māori and the welfare and stories of wāhine. The Award was first initiated in 2011 by Wairoa Māori Film Festival director Leo Koziol and his mother Huia Koziol.