Dylan Haley – Far Out! Film Night

Meet Dylan Haley, a guy with an infectious laugh and the organiser of the monthly Far Out Film Nights at the Dome Cinema.

Dylan grew up in Berkeley, California, a city well-known for its liberalism. An epicentre of the anti-Vietnam war and Free Speech movements of the 60’s in the US, Berkeley has kept that tradition of radical politics and challenging the status quo to this day. “It’s a pretty groovy place” says Dylan that most people born there never leave. But Dylan did leave, initially to go to art school in New York and then to Los Angeles to “surround himself with artists”.

It was while he was living in L.A. that Dylan met Sarah, a Kiwi lass who had ended up immersed in the music industry, starting out DJing in bars and moving into music licencing, with a role placing music in film and Television.

Whilst Dylan still sometimes feels as if being here in Gisborne is some kind of happy accident, the pair made a conscious decision to ditch the rat race and find a place to raise a family of their own. With Sarah’s family all living here, Gisborne was that perfect place and Dylan reckons that in some ways Gisborne and Berkeley share a similar vibe in some ways; a special kind of soul that you don’t just find anywhere.

Since moving to Gisborne five years ago Dylan says he’s been educated on all sorts of things from beekeeping to growing vegetables to fence building, and he’s enjoyed growing friendships built upon shared interests in music and art. However he’d been here for a while when he started to realise how much he was missing chewing the fat about film with other people who were as excited about it as he was.

For Dylan it was time living next to some excellent video stores, first in NY and then LA that really got him into watching movies. It was always something of a solitary endeavour until the company Dylan did graphic design for opened a film distribution wing; restoring old films, repackaging them and redistributing them. Dylan started doing the poster design for the films – something he continues doing to this day – and finding himself surrounded by film nerds, his appreciation for film and talking about it with others, was thoroughly entrenched.

In his early days of Gisborne living Dylan would wander over to the Ballance Street Village to grab some lunch from the bakery. He’d often stop by at Retro, to yarn with Ro Darrall. When Sally from the Dome Cinema also showed up at the shop on one of those occasions, Ro prompted Dylan to share his idea for a regular film night showing classic films with her. Sally was sold, and in true Gizzy-styles, Far Out Film Night was born.

So what is Far Out Film Night? Each month Dylan chooses a film from his own personal catalogue of favourites. He goes for films that have stood the test of time but that are also somehow a little fringe-y, left of centre, usually with some kind of anti-hero theme, and always with substance.

Getting the rights to screen any particular film is an exercise which can have Dylan communicating directly with the family of deceased filmmakers or the original film producers and it’s a part of the process he enjoys.

On the night Dylan introduces the film, touching on anything from the social or political history which may have shaped the film, to the backgrounds of particular actors, fun facts about the director or the likes. He is passionate about the films he shows, as an intentional curation of some of  the best films that have ever been made. He especially relishes seeing old films on the big screen, likening the experience to time machine travel into the past.

For Dylan the Far Out Film Nights have achieved his own personal goal in finding people to talk film with, with some of the regulars soon becoming firm friends, and for Gisborne people, it’s an opportunity to enrich both our cultural and social lives; an opportunity to step out of our own lives for a couple of hours to experience someone else’s reality, in another time and place.

Far Out Film Night is on the last Tuesday of the month (that’s tonight!) at the Dome Cinema. The doors open for pizza and toasty hang outs from 5pm and the film starts at 6:30pm. Bookings are essential (027 590 2117) because these nights are pretty popular!

Tonight’s film is a documentary about the life of pianist and jazz great, Thelonious Sphere Monk. Featuring live performances by Monk and his band, and interviews with friends and family about the offbeat genius, Dylan reckons this is another banger of a film!

Bonus Hot Tips from Dylan:

#1 If you are searching for something quality to watch on Netflix right now, look for the film Crip Camp. Not only does it prominently feature Dylan’s hometown, he reckons it will have you remembering what we are all here for.

#2 If you’re wanting to break free of Netflix you might want to check out streaming platform mubi.com – comparable in price to other platforms, available in NZ and good for films in particular.

You can follow the Far Out Film Night on Instagram @far.out.film.night

This Is The Essence Of Tairāwhiti

This is the Essence of Tairāwhiti, a one day event celebrating local producers and providers, hunter gatherers, and performers. All of these elements collide to produce an energetic vibe for sharing kai. Unlike other food festival models that provide space for vendors to compete for customers, Essence of Tairāwhiti provides a space of equal footing; where your all-inclusive ticket enables you to taste everything from everyone. That’s a lot of kai. You could say it’s a real ‘bang for your buck’, or more so, for your puku. 

We’re talking 1kg worth of kai. Can you handle it? But what’s even better is that the kai is locally sourced from passionate hunter gatherers of our region, from Ruatoria all the way down to Morere, “from both sides of the maunga and moana”. The freshly caught kai is then publicly prepared by incredible local chefs. And if you’re not already plump with anticipation, the kai is also cleverly paired with wines from local wineries such as Long Bush, Spade Oak, TW and Bushmere. This is a foodie’s Utopia.  

Already floundering for a ticket?

Surely you’re as interested as I was to find out who is delivering a food festival of this magnitude. I recently had the pleasure of meeting local foodies Katie and Drew Hill, and their fellow collaborator Stephane Dussau. The trio tautoko the vision of this kaupapa; to feed souls with goodness through sharing local produce and knowledge.

The trio understand more than the recipes one can scribe up in the kitchen. What better way to manaaki visitors than with a philosophy that emulsifies community through food?  

Drew and Katie are also producers of The Food Cartel, with a business model that simmers with the same philosophy; sharing local kai, supporting and educating diets. Stephane Dussau, ex-owner and Chef of Marina Restaurant adds a flame to this mix. Not only with his focus on quality (and we’re talking Michelin star quality!), but because he has a deep desire to celebrate this region.

It’s starting to sound as though the trio have always been destined to do this. In fact, in watching Drew and Katie interact with Stephane, you too would have sworn that they had known one another for years. Lounging over the backyard couches and seamlessly bouncing kōrero off of one another. Lifelong friends, surely. Stephane told me that he’s been hanging out with the pair for only one month. I was shucked.

The value and philosophy behind Essence of Tairāwhiti is clearly contagious, with local businesses offering support by way of time and resources. They’ve snagged local hunter gatherers from all over the motu, such as Sam the trap man, Hunting with Tui and many more who will demonstrate their knowledge and share their passions for hunting and gathering kai and kaimoana. 

Essence of Tairāwhiti also aims to educate diets. The trio shared with me a story of their own journey, where they recently headed down to the beach to collect seaweed to see if they could cook it. They collected neptune’s necklace and brown kelp and made seaweed fritters,

“We’re learning things as well. Seaweed tastes like mushroom and aubergine. Then we added kelp, and kelp is like chilli!”

The three often reflect back to lockdown, where we all learnt that one can definitely not eat money. However one can learn how to be self-sufficient and sustainable; how to grow and gather kai, and Essence of Tairāwhiti aims to demonstrate just how accessible kai can be in our region.

To help you along on your own educational journey, food passports showcasing the 22 tastings will be provided. The idea behind this kaupapa is not only to guide your memory (after one too many wines), but also provide a recipe for each tasting so that you’ll be able to recreate these dishes for your whānau and friends. Now that’s clever.

How will I get there you ask? Well, Essence of Tairāwhiti have got you covered. A bus ticket to and from the festival is all-inclusive to ensure you travel safe. Your destination is the dreamy stables of the A&P Showgrounds where you will be greeted with an etched glass and tote bag for your own hunting and gathering. Representatives from each hapu and iwi of Tairāwhiti will be at the showgrounds to greet and welcome you through pōwhiri.

Stepping into the space you’ll be greeted with an intimate environment; boutique furniture and umbrellas beckoning you to sit, relax and be merry.  A retail space will be selling platters and locally made craft wares. There will even be spot prizes. 

And what’s a celebration without music? There will be DJ sets from locals Steve King and Campbell Ngata, as well as live music from the Lazy Fifty. These tunes are sure to have you muddling on the dance floor, if not happily poaching in your seat. A festival saturating you in good vibes.

This unique kaupapa of celebrating our region through kai is what we’ve all been waiting for. Surf and Turf made from venison, wild hare and paua? Yum, yes please.

Essence of Tairāwhiti will be opening its doors to your palate on the 27th of February, starting at 3pm sharp all the way to boogie town, 8pm. Go on, you should probably get that ticket.

Story by Jordan Walker

Photograph X Tink Lockett @uniquelytinkphotography

REVIVE AT REVIVE FESTIVAL

Revive is a three-day-long festival being brought to life by two brothers Jock and Sam alongside an array of collaborators from all over the country here in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa, Gisborne from the 2nd of January 2021. 

Despite sitting bang in the middle of Summer Festival season, Revive is not your average summer festival, aiming as it does to elevate its attendees to a state of uplift, joy, connectedness, and wellbeing, with a whole lot of fun as we transition into a brand new year. 

After resigning from their jobs as Geotechnical Engineers Sam and Jock decided to finally action an old dream that had lain dormant for some time – a soul mission to help improve the mental health of Kiwi communities, through making wellness and holistic health more mainstream and accessible.  The idea of a Festival in which people can show up as they are and gain useful lessons and experiences to either start or further a personal wellbeing journey became the starting point for their mission. 

Sam and Jock spent the winter of 2020 traveling the country, North to South, sleeping in the rooftop tent on Sam’s truck and visiting every holistic health establishment they could find, from organic produce stores to yoga studios, wellness teachers, instructors, speakers, and health advocates seeking out like-minded folk keen on contributing to the vision.

The result of that trip is Revive Festival, which they describe as three days of conscious celebration, a combination of wellness retreat and music festival; bringing together experiences that move participants physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Live music, light and art installations, delicious nourishing food, speakers and workshops in yoga, meditation, breathwork, fitness, ecstatic dance, healing, art, and wellness make up the lineup, which can also be seen as a toolbox of tricks with which to set out on a more connected, present and joyful 2021.

Revive Festival is also an opportunity to experience a tranquil and magical setting with lowland native bush, some of the country’s oldest trees as well as viognier grape vineyards; a lush setting in which to ground yourself and reset. The standard ticket price includes camping, but there are also VIP glamping options available. Having both lost friends to mental health, an emphasis on Mental Health awareness is key for both Jock and Sam and a sum of their revenue will be donated to the mental health foundation of New Zealand.

Jock and Sam encourage people to ‘come as you are and leave inspired for more’. They hope that Revive will be a time and a space in which for people to connect with themselves and their tribe, from which people will take away useful lessons and experiences that will ultimately make their health and wellbeing journeys easy, realistic, and enjoyable.

* Day Passes are available/kids under 12 are FREE/12-15 year olds half price

You can check out the details and purchase your tickets for Revive Festival 2021 here: 

www.ticketfairy.com/event/revive-festival-nz-2jan2021

Vibes & Tribes – Tāiki e! One Year In

Next week the Impact House, Tāiki e turns one year old. In just one year, it’s fair to say that Renay Charteris, Cain Kerehoma and their ever-growing crew have achieved their goal of kickstarting an aroha economy here in the Tairāwhiti. Their aims around creating a collaborative space for social and environmental action have drawn in a hugely diverse group of people to the premises on the corner of Treble Court.

Amongst the people using and contributing towards the space are a mushroom farmer, a death doula, a tourism operator, innovators and an artist, people in data analytics, social media, tech, the youth space, Te Reo, podcasting and permaculture. Renay reckons they’ve become a UN of sorts too “We seem to be a bit of a landing pad for new people arriving in our community, who want to get involved but don’t know how”. She says that getting them involved in projects that benefit the region is the best way to introduce people to our community, allowing them to integrate into the fabric of the community through service and giving of their time, skills and selves.

Next week is Global Entrepreneurship Week, and the programme that the Tāiki e! crew have planned is a beautiful fit for the mahi they do, bringing together the key focus areas that have organically bubbled up amongst their members since they started one year ago. When it comes to entrepreneurship, Cain and Renay urge people to think about how business can be used as a tool to create impact and transformational change in our communities, so that it is about more than just making a profit.

So next week the hive of activity that is Tāiki e! kicks off with an Open Day for people who want to get a sense of what goes on there and how it rolls, a Side Hustle Market, Self Care & Well-Being in Business session and a Start Up Crawl through the CBD, talking to some local business owners about their start up stories. Stuffed Up Night aims to provide a space within which to talk about failure and Fishbowl is an event to talk Food and Food Security here in Te Tairāwhiti.

As Renay says ‘Your vibe attracts your tribe’ so if this vibe sounds like a bit of you, check out Tāiki e!’s schedule of events for next week, and meet your tribe!

RAIL LAND COMES TO TE TAIRĀWHITI

Anthonie Tonnon is realising a long-held ambition in Te Tairāwhiti on November 1st. Not only is he bringing his Rail Land show to the region – with the help of Arts on Tour and InCahoots, he is inviting an audience to join him and travel by train from Gisborne Station to Te Whare Maumahara mo Ngā Hoea O Te Muriwai – the hall at Te Muriwai marae.

A journey of the mind, through song and story about New Zealand’s on-and-off again love affair with its passenger railway system, Tonnon has taken Rail Land around Aotearoa twice, and this year will take the show beyond the main centres to 21 towns.

In the show, Tonnon weaves his current, past and future songs together with new custom material written for Rail Land – synthesizer soundscapes with spoken word narratives on topics like the closure of the Blue Streak Railcar, the 90s revival of the Silver Fern Carriages, or how to take the great Capital Connection train from Palmerston North to Wellington – a train Tonnon calls ‘the last of its kind.’

But like the space-themed visual spectacle A Synthesized Universe, which Tonnon performed for Te Tairawhiti Arts Festival last year, Rail Land has an immersive element too. This time it’s in the form of a real, communal journey rather than a virtual one. Where possible, Rail Land aims to get the entire audience to an extraordinary venue by public transport rail. Where no such transport exists, the goal of Rail Land is to make it exist, if only for one day. 

The first place Tonnon achieved this was his hometown of Dunedin – a city where suburban trains ran until 1982. In 2018 and 2019, Tonnon chartered a Dunedin Railways train from Dunedin Station to a hall in the seaside settlement of Waitati.

‘The goal of Rail Land is to do something practical and joyous – while the story of rail in Aotearoa is often quite tragic, I didn’t want to just dwell on those tragedies, and I wanted to do something beyond just talking. I realised that if we could get enough people to go along with me, we could actually bring a train into existence in the present moment. Taking a train together with people in Dunedin to get to a show, something most of us haven’t done in our lifetime, was really euphoric – I think it expanded everyone’s sense of possibility.’

But chartering trains is no easy feat – fees to use the lines can be extraordinarily prohibitive, and rail operators outside the main centres have been under strain, even before Covid. This year, Dunedin Railways was mothballed during the first lockdown. Responding to the difficulties, Tonnon has expanded this year’s tour to include heritage buses and ferries in Dunedin, and is celebrating bus systems in towns like Queenstown which he says has shown the power of improving public transport, even if only on humble rubber wheels. 

Tonnon says that in the places where freight trains don’t run, like the Weka Pass Railway in Canterbury, there can actually be more possibility for passengers “Because Gisborne’s line is currently disconnected from the main system, and because I’d seen Gisborne City Vintage Railway was doing regular trips, I thought it might just be possible here.” When performing at Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival last year,  he asked In Cahoots’ Melody Craw if she thought she could help him pull it off. Nine months later, I got an email from her that said “here in Te Tairāwhiti everything is possible.” 

Tonnon says that while the show is just the second on this year’s Rail Land tour, it’s the most ambitious journey planned on the tour. ‘Melody’s right – perhaps anything is possible here.’

Sunday November 1, Te Tairāwhiti / Gisborne – Te Whare Maumahara mo Ngā Hoea O Te Muriwai, 3pm Get your tickets here

* Travel to Muriwai by Vintage Train and experience Rail Land in Te Whare Maumahara.Train leaves at 3pm and returns approx. 6.45pm

What The Folk?

Being European I had my first folk dances quite young in a country strongly attached to its traditions, famous for its Bastille Day ball organised by local firemen all over the country, and legally-bound to support regional customs, music and languages.

 I didn’t feel any attraction to dancing to traditional music holding pinkies in barns or community halls back then. I was into rhythm, beats, energy, movement and far more attracted to rock n’ roll, blues, punk music, modern jazz and African dance.

How is it that my first go at Folk Dancing in Gizzy thirty years on appealed so much? I haven’t got an answer, there will of course be several, as is pretty much always the case with anything.

A folk dancing opportunity was offered at a week-long Contact Improvisation Dance retreat in Gisborne not long ago. Contact Improvisation is about connection, trust and fun based on the foundations of movement and dance. Folk relies on learnt steps, whereas Contact Improvisation is totally free range. The relationship between the two practices might be the constant feel of the partner, and of course the connection, whether negative or positive (which is Contact Improvisation terminology), with or without touch.

Jane Luiten is a big advocate for Folk Dance in Gisborne, an incredibly passionate, knowledgeable and talented teacher.  She makes everyone comfortable, with no judgment on ability on her dance floor.  Young people as much as elderly appear to have a fun time in her classes.

Folk Dance encompasses traditional dances of the Old World, including North American dances developed by European settlers, and are as varied as there are countries! They were and are performed at weddings, funerals, festivities, fulfilling many social roles as well as the human need for celebration, connection and fun, which explains their continued legitimacy today. They are most often rooted in gender roles, performed with costumes and accessories, which can be challenging in modern times. I don’t see myself wearing an 18th-century dress or a Croatian costume any time soon, however pretty they are! However some folk dancers still meet in costumes at parties and gatherings.

 One last quite essential point I’d like to share is how easily I’ve been able to learn steps, despite in the past having been  unable to learn and retain choreography whether it was modern jazz or African!  I still haven’t figured out why.  Is it because the number of steps per dance is reduced and recurrent?  Is it because I’m older, more organised in my brain than I used to be and recognise and remember patterns more easily?  My epiphany on a folk dance floor a few months ago was seeing the steps and beats as they would show on a music sheet..go figure!  Folk dance in a safe and professional environment is highly recommended to people with dementia and Alzheimers.

Jane has created a small community of dedicated folk musicians and folk dancers in Tūranga, Gisborne and I hope it will continue to thrive and expand for the benefit and happiness of all!

Story by Pascale Delos

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