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“Mahara Dreams of Opo” Shoots in Hokianga

30 Jul 2020 1:49 PM | Amber Wakefield (Administrator)


Photo credit: Chris Blundell

Director Paora Joseph’s new project Mahara Dreams of Opo shot in the Hokianga area this July. Joseph’s 2018 documentary Maui’s Hook tackled suicide and mental health issues in New Zealand and the new project addresses mental health in narrative form.

Written in collaboration with Lani-Rain Feltham, who also served as Producer, it is the story of a young girl named Mahara who continues to struggle with the death of her mother, and finds herself institutionalised after receiving visions through wairua from Opo, the famous lone dolphin.


Photo credit: Chris Blundell

The film features actor and mental health advocate Rob Mokaraka as Mahara’s father Hemi. Hemi also struggles  with his own grief and how to best help his daughter.


Photo credit: Chris Blundell

Shot by NZCS member Tim Flower, Mahara filmed in and around Omapere and Opononi for two days this month. With support from Imagezone in Auckland, “Mahara” used an Alexa Mini with a set of Super 35 Caldwell Chamleon lenses to capture the beauty of Hokianga.

The short was shot as a proof of concept for a feature film that will hopefully go ahead next autumn.

~ Michael Paletta, NZCS Committee Member

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