Wiremu Grace

This page is about Porirua filmmaker Wiremu Grace, pictured below.

Wiremu Grace at Titahi Bay Beach. Porirua City is the backdrop to a new feature film Wiremu Grace will finish writing at the Binger Institute, a feature-film development centre in Amsterdam, after being selected as one of 18 filmmakers from around the world for a five month residency.

And Porirua will be at the heart of his next short film, which is in the preproduction stages.

“There are so many good stories that come from places like Porirua that haven’t been seen on the big screen; that are totally original. There's no point in trying to compete with everyone else when I know there's heck of a lot happening here," he says.

Wiremu, from Titahi Bay, is planning to use the success of  Kehua and his time at the Binger Institute later this year as a springboard to bigger things.

"Getting to the (Berlin) film festival means you've won; in terms of every new film maker wants to get there…It helps get you up the ladder and it's an affirmation of your work and recognition of all the hard work that others put in, often for free."

"Here in New Zealand you have to be really focussed; be really on your game to get your foot in the film industry door. Part of that is knowing what makes our stories different but also how universal themes are similar no matter where you come from. Now I've got my foot in the door I want to walk through and keep the momentum going."

Wiremu studied writing at Whitireia Community Polytechnic in Porirua City and later went on to gain a masters degree in creative writing at Victoria University in Wellington.

‘Kehua’ is Wiremu’s first experience of writing and directing a film and he says he learned a lot about the art of film making.

It was shot on a shoe-string budget around Porirua City particularly at Maraeroa Marae, relying on huge support from whanau and the community.

The film explores the view point of a young Maori boy raised in Australia and his first experiences of returning to New Zealand for a tangi (funeral).