Brent Reihana, Festival Director (Ngapuhi): has operational and management experience across the hospitality, service and manufacturing industries. Currently he runs a management consultancy and a business network while lecturing in management and reading law. Brent will do anything, stand at the end of a jack-hammer all day if that’s what is needed. His motto: if you can, you should. In his youth, Brent trained and performed with the illustrious Te Huinga Waka kapa haka group tutored by Uncle Bub. He has lived in Sydney for 25 years and been intimately involved in the Sydney Maori community. He is the founder of the Maori Business Network in Sydney.
Riikka Lintola, Festival Coordinator: Ko Ngati Whinarangi te iwi, ko Itämeri otira ko Baltic Sea te moana, ko Kuusisto te motu. Ko Finnair te waka rererangi. Artist, designer, software consultant, mum, dreamer, Riikka can fit in many places and do many things, sometimes at the same time. A native of Finland and Australian citizen, she has bound herself and her offspring for eternity to the land in Aotearoa. Her feeling among Maori people, language and culture is that of having come home.
Tema Kwan Fenton, Designer, Workshop kaiako: I te taha o taku mama Ko Parihaka te maunga, Ko Hatea te awa, Ko Ngatokimatuwhaorua te waka, Ko Pehiaweri te marae, Ko Ngati Hau te hapu, Ko Ngapuhi te iwi. I te taha o toku papa, Ko Taupiri raua ko Puhangatohora oku maunga Ko Waikato, ko Taheke oku awa, Ko Tainui, ko Ngatokomatawhaorua oku waka Ko Waikare, ko Taheke oku marae, Ko Ngati Pakau, ko Ngati Hine oku hapu, Ko Waikato, ko Ngauhi oku iwi. Tema is a video editor with a passion for all arenas of Maori art. She has extensive film and tv production experience working in production as a freelancer for Maori TV (NZ) and channel Nine (Sydney).
Moana Sukkar, Writer: ko Joseph Healey me Doris Cope oku maatua, oku tupuna ko Hepati Cope me Ada te aranga Moetara, ko Maataatua te waka, ko Whiria te maunga, ko Taheke te awa, ko Hokianga te moana, ko Ngapuhi te iwi, ko Ngatipakau te hapu me ko Ngatikorokoro te hapu, inaianei ko Moana Sukkar ahau. I teach English at James Busby High School and I am a member of Te Wairua Tapu Haahi. I am blessed with two children and wrapped to be a cog in the wheel of the Aotearoa Film Festival crew.
Devlin Tikitiki, MC, Workshop kaiako: I tipu ake ā Devlin Tikitiki i te Wairarapa. He uri ia no ngā iwi o Ngāti Porou rāua ko Rongaowhakaata. He is actively involved in the Māori community as kaiako for kōhanga and kapa haka as well as delivering Māori theory classes. He wears many hats, including leading tours around NZ and regular rehearsals in preparations for the Matatini kapa haka competitions. With qualifications in the Performing Arts and Teaching fields, Devlin brings the fun in the film making workshops and encourages the youth to express themselves more through the use of their body language.
Adam Saunders, Actor, Film Maker: Adam has had a long career as an actor (Blue Water High, Home and Away) and presenter (Creature Features, Starspace) but has recently been extending his interests to behind the lens. Producing and starring alongside Academy-Award Nominee Keisha Castle-Hughes in his first Feature Film (Find Your Voice), which is due for completion this year. Realising his thirst for creation through production, he has gone on to start his own video production company, Killa Kreative, specialising in Music, Fashion and Lifestyle videos as well running a successful crowd funding campaign to launch production on a Comedy Web Series (Kingston Court).
Luke Tomes, AV Technical Specialist and baby whisperer: Multi-Platinum music engineer and producer, audio and software engineer for motion pictures, Luke’s specialties are technology IP development, software development, product design, project management, media production systems and digital media creation. His creations include an interactive Milly and Molly mobile app in Te Reo Maori.
James Kaiwai, Front of House, Security: AKA “Beast from the East” (Ngati Porou). Happy to be of service as General Dogsbody/Mule/Taxi/Sounding Board and anything else I can help out with. Have had a lot do with NSW Maori Rugby League over the last 15 years, I have been part of NSW’s committee and during this time have been very successful with Norths Maori Rugby League as a manager. Currently Managing a retail store on the Northern Beaches in Sydney.