New Zealand’s first published Māori novelist Witi Ihimaera, probably best known for the film adaptation of his book, The Whale Rider (2002), has 14 novels and six short story collections to his credit.
Other films made from his work include Kawa (2011) and White Lies (2013), which was New Zealand’s official entrant to the Academy Awards Best Foreign Film 2014. His novel Bulibasha, King of the Gypsies will be transformed into film by director Lee Tamahori for release in 2015.
At the Festival, Witi will be speaking about the Māori experience in New Zealand. In this significant year for Scotland, Witi is looking forward to talking with Scots colleagues about their shared experiences of colonialism, how nations are represented on film and the ways in which countries maintain their own sovereignty within a globalised world.
Witi’s appearance in Edinburgh is part of NZ at Edinburgh 2014. Over 200 New Zealand artists will travel to Edinburgh this August. Never before has such a large group of leading New Zealand actors, dancers, musicians, writers, Maori performing artists, spoken word and visual artists been invited to perform at the Edinburgh Festivals.
NZ at Edinburgh 2014, supported by the Arts Council of New Zealand (Creative New Zealand), will feature New Zealand artists at seven of the Edinburgh Festivals: the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo; the Edinburgh Art Festival; the Edinburgh International Book Festival; the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival and the Scottish International Storytelling Festival.
Included in the season are internationally acclaimed director Lemi Ponifasio and his company MAU; Auckland Theatre Company; composer Gareth Farr; Pasifika theatre group Kila Kokonut Krew; pianist Michael Houstoun; Te Matatini’s national kapa haka champions; dance company Black Grace and many more.