Kokaua is an officer of Te Ipukarea Society and Baker is an established filmmaker, whose short film “A Boy From Rarotonga” was recently screened at the Wairoa Maori Film Festival.
Twelve winners were announced for the US Department of State’s 2018 Young Pacific Leaders (YPL) Small Grants Programme. The selected teams, representing 11 different Pacific countries, will receive up to $20,000 in grant funding. This will aid the implementation of projects in the region that relate to the programme’s themes of education, environment and resource management, civic leadership, and economic and social development.
In addition to receiving the funding, Kokaua and Baker also attended a workshop where they refined their project ideas and learned more about successful grant management. All teams will receive mentorship to help ensure their success.
The pair’s project is titled “Documenting Traditional Knowledge through Digital Media.”
Kokaua says they completed work on the series trailer, Aorangi, earlier this year and want to release it sometime soon.
However, he says they are still deciding on which platform to share the series. and welcome support from anybody who was interested.
"We are aiming for five short 10-15 minute films which actually look at different eco-systems and kind of split up the Cook Islands Aorangi into different sections and traditional knowledge associated with these different areas. We’re not just documenting them, but encouraging our youth to find out more about these traditions and to practice them as well."