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Ed Sheeran

Poi360 celebrates mana wahine

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A short film that grew out of a website designed to celebrate the art of the poi is winning international acclaim.

Poi 360 started from an essay Lanita Ririnui wrote for her daughter.

It now encompasses an interactive site, a web series, flashcards, and a documentary which has just won the best documentary and audience choice awards at this year’s Top Shorts Online Film Festival.

Her co-producer Ngatapa Black says the doco drew from the web series, which featured 10 wahine sharing their hopes and dreams for their daughters through the poi.

"They’re teaching them different things - movement, short poi movement. There is the confidence women have in doing the poi. It shows the beauty of wahine Maori. All those things you want to pass down to your daughter on how she can stand an live in this world - confidence, beauty, mana wahine, all those things," she says.

The Poi360 project has also won awards at the Canadian Diversity Film Festival, Best Shorts Competition, and the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival.

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