HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The film community is mourning the loss of former professor at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mânoa's Academy for Creative Media, who passed away this past Sunday. Amy Kalili brings us the story of the legendary Maori filmmaker, Merata Mita, and the impact she had on her students.
Ua nui âkea ko Merata Mita ʻike a mâkaukau ma ka ʻoihana hoʻopuka kiʻi a kîwî mai ke kûkala nûhou a i ke luna kuhiluhi ʻana a pçia pû ka lilo ʻana i hâmeʻe ma nâ kiʻi.
Merata Mita's pioneering work in film and television spans from news to acting to directing.
He leo kûpaʻa nô ʻo ia ma ke kâkoʻo ʻana i kona poʻe, kâ lâkou e ʻimi ʻana, a me ka hoʻolaha ʻana aku i nâ moʻolelo o nâ Mâori ma o ka ʻôlelo a me ke kuana ʻike Mâori nô hoʻi.
She was a strong advocate for her people, pushing to tell Mâori stories, via a Mâori voice and perspective.
ʻO kekahi o kâna mau hana koʻikoʻi loa nô naʻe i waena o ia mau mea a pau, ʻo ia hoʻi kona aʻoaʻo a hoʻokele ʻana i nâ ʻôpio o ka hanauna hou ma Hawaiʻi nei ma kçia ʻoihana a pçia hoʻi kekahi o kâ ʻÂhaʻi ʻÔlelo Ola nô hoʻi.
One of her greatest accomplishments however was her work with the next generation of local film makers, including some of our own.
She pushed all of us to tell our stories, and to not be afraid to tell our stories.
She made me realize that my stories, growing up in Hawaiʻi, were important and there was a place for them. It was unique enough to be heard.
Shooter/Editor, ʻÂhaʻi ʻÔlelo Ola and UHM Academy for Creative Media Alumni
Paipai maoli ʻo ia iâ mâkou, ko Hawaiʻi, e haʻi aku i kâ kâkou mau moʻolelo.
No ʻÂina Paikai, kekahi o kâna mau haumâna i hoʻolele ʻia aku nei kâna mau kiʻi pôkole ma nâ hoʻolauleʻa kiʻi ʻoniʻoni ma Hawaiʻi nei, hoʻomanaʻo ʻo ia i ko Merata paipai maoli ʻana iâ ia e ʻimi hou aku i kona ʻike mâkau.
ʻÂina Paikai, a student whose work has already debuted at film festivals here in Hawaiʻi, remembers Merata encouraging him to develop his skill.
When she told me that, it made me believe in myself, gave me confidence.
Intern, ʻÂhaʻi ʻÔlelo Ola and UHM Academy for Creative Media Alumni
Ua ʻike au, hiki iaʻu ke hana i kçia.
E haʻo maoli ʻia ana nô ʻo ia e kâna mau haumâna akâ, ʻike lâkou no ko lâkou kuleana i ka hoʻomau a hoʻomohala i kâ Merata hoʻoilina i waiho ai.
Her students will miss her but they are determined to continue her legacy.
If she was here, she would be super happy about what were doing as far as building the Hawaiian language media community and knows that we're going to take it even a step further.
Hauʻoli loa ʻo ia i kâ mâkou hana hoʻoikaika ʻôlelo ma ka pâpaho.
Yeah…I think she would be really, really, happy. I think she would be encouraged.
I wish she was here…I really wish she was here.
Nui kona hauʻoli a lana o ka manaʻo.
Haʻo nui au iâ ia.