Pioneering Maori filmmaker Merata Mita's dream of turning Cousins into a movie ended with her death in 2010. The project was picked up by director Ainsley Gardiner and writer/director Briar Grace-Smith. Cousins is based on Patricia Grace's decade-spanning novel following the fate of three Māori cousins in post WWll Aotearoa. Mata's removal from her whānau into state care profoundly affects each woman. In this trailer, middle-aged Makareta Pairama recognises her lost cousin Mata on a city street, and memories of their shared, rural childhood flood back. The ensemble cast includes Rachel House and Tanea Heke (No. 2).
I tried to find you, Mata. We all did.– Makareta (Briar Grace-Smith) encounters her lost cousin Mata (Tanea Heke) in Wellington
Made in association with the NZ Film Commission, NZ On Air, Te Māngai Pāho and Kiwibank
Radio interview with Ainsley Gardiner, Radio New Zealand, February 2019
Interview with producer Ainslie Gardiner, The Rotorua Daily Post, May 2019
Interview with young Cousins actor Te Raukura Gray, Rotorua Daily Post, January 2020