I didn’t get to meet Merata Mita but I have certainly felt the affects of her legacy. I know that she was the first indigenous woman to make a feature film in Aotearoa, New Zealand – THAT enables me. I know that she was an educator, a mentor, and shared her passion for filmmaking and storytelling- THAT gives me hope. She was an indigenous woman breaking glass ceilings in the industry- THAT empowers me.
Park City, UT — Amie Batalibasi (Australian Solomon Islander, Feralimae/Kosi) from Melbourne, Australia, is the 2017 recipient of the Sundance Institute Merata Mita Fellowship—an annual fellowship named in honor of the late Māori filmmaker Merata Mita (1942-2010). The announcement was delivered today at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.