Nordic films at the Māoriland Film Festival 2018

Māoriland Film Festival (MFF) is an International Indigenous film festival that celebrates Indigenous voices and storytelling in film. Each March, Māoriland brings Indigenous films and their creators to Ōtaki on Aotearoa’s (New Zealand) Kāpiti Coast for five days of screenings, workshops, art exhibitions and special events.

The 2018 festival runs from the 21st until the 25th of March.

Festival website



Short film

Directed by Nivi Pedersen

Shovelling snow is an everyday task in Nuuk, Greenland. We follow three people with each their issue in this seemingly problem-free task.

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Directed by Katja Gauriloff

After a life of ill health, the young Swiss author Robert Crottet feels a calling to go to the Arctic and meet the people of the North. He is welcomed by the Skolt Sámi – and is mesmerized by the richness of their oral traditions, especially the unique storytelling gift of the lively matriarch Kaisa Gauriloff. After being acknowledged by the forest, he is permitted to record the stories and legends as told by Kaisa. These hypnotizing tales are illustrated with delightful storybook-style animation that intertwines with Robert’s biographical impressions as well as grim historical events around them. The war had an appalling impact on the Skolt Sámis’ lives and lands, and no matter how resilient they were, they could not salvage all of their ancient practices. Kaisa’s great-granddaughter Katja Gauriloff directs this film as a portrayal of Robert’s poetic admiration of Kaisa and her enchanted world.

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Directed by Egil Pedersen

A young girl adores her late father. An accidental meeting triggers doubt in her love for her father.

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Music video

Directed by Egil Pedersen

For the Sámi, the Stállu is a monster, the kind that brings nightmares. In this track, Slincraze rap about how he feels like being a stállu, an outcast in the society.

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This series of short films were produced for OCA (Office for Contemporary Art, Norway) by Cultureshock Media as part of a wider cross-disciplinary international conference held in 2016.

These documentaries are part of a long-term research project ‘Thinking at the Edge of the World. Perspectives from the North’. Including different forms of public programming with lectures, conversations and events, together with Sámi artists and activists speaking about crucial moments in their recent history and today’s challenges within the region in the North of Norway.

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Directed by Nils Gaup

31 years after its premiere, we will raise the curtains for the very first Sámi feature film – Nils Gaup’s intense action adventure. Set on the Finnmarksvidda plateau, OFELAŠ/PATHFINDER follows Aigin, a young Sámi hunter who sees his family massacred by Chudes, a tribe from the East. Aigin swears revenge, but to save other Sámi who have fled to the coast, he must become a guide and pathfinder for the Chudes on a dangerous path through a rugged winter landscape.

Inspired by Sámi oral storytelling, Nils Gaup’s debut feature was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards and has become a milestone in Norwegian film history

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Read our interview with Nils Gaup



Directed by Nils Gaup

In the year 1206 Norway is raged by civil war. The King’s illegitimate infant son Håkon Håkonsson, who half the kingdom wants killed off, is guarded in secrecy by two men. When assassins discover the baby’s whereabouts his guardians flee with their future king.

With breathtaking scenery, The Last King features incredible fight sequences on skis, hurtling down mountains with baby in arms.

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Directed by Jon Blahed

Maj Doris’ is a documentary that follows the 74-year-old legendary Sámi woman Maj Doris Rimpi. Twenty years ago she had another kind of life. She travelled all around the world and she experienced a lot. Nowadays Maj Doris lives alone on a farm above the arctic circle in Sweden. She keeps reindeers but she’s also a sought-after artist, painter and actress (e.g. Sámi Blood 2016).

Last winter was filled with hard work and she almost gave up. This winter Maj Doris gets help in an unexpected way, but does she have the energy to continue like this?

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Directed by Inga-Wiktoria Påve

A haunting tale that follows a young girl and her reindeer as they try to escape the menacing darkness of the colonial oppression in Sápmi. Guided by a spirit, she is reminded to listen to her inner voice and trust her instincts.

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Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.