LIVE ACTION | New Zealand | 10 MINUTES | English

Shades Of Blue And Green

Gem collects and weaves harakeke (flax), works on the kiwifruit orchard and then returns home where she lives with her partner, Nikau. As the days go on, she starts to notice Nikau’s sombre and withdrawn behavior – familiar signs of his deteriorating mental health. During dinner she asks him if he’s still taking his medication and he avoids the subject and leaves the table. Gem’s worry is beginning to take a toll on her, and when she returns home after collecting harakeke one day, Nikau’s absence triggers a traumatic memory from their past. Combined with her present stress, Gem is pushed to breaking point. The next day she continues weaving, lost in thought.


Directed by Leigh Minarapa

Leigh graduated from Victoria University of Wellington in 2013 with a major in film and then entered the industry as a Production Assistant and Production Manager.

Leigh has worked on a range of projects including web-series, short films, music videos, documentaries and feature films for Māori Television, The New Zealand Film Commission, TVNZ, Te Māngai Pāho and more. She is currently a Masters of Screenwriting student at Auckland University of Technology.

Leigh’s tribe is Ngāti Rangitihi, Te Arawa.


Leigh Minarapa


Brandon Te Moananui


Leigh Minarapa

Key Cast

Keporah Torrance, Joe Dekkers-Reihana

Director of Photography

Pikihuia Haenga


India Fremaux

Director Statement

Mental illness is like a black hole – it sucks in everyone in its periphery. The pain and sadness affect not only the individual who is suffering, but also the family, friends and partners who stand alongside them as support persons.

I wanted to tell a story that portrays an experience of this. An honest representation of the day-to-day reality of mental health struggles through the eyes of an indigenous woman in small-town modern New Zealand. This is a personal story, but also one that I know will resonate with people all around the world.



March 1st – March 8th

Streaming Exclusively
Red Nation Television Network

Native Women in Film & Television In All Media is a program of Red Nation Celebration Institute

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