"A should-watch for anyone who treasures the ground they walk on." CAAMFEST 35
"Ever the Land has been made with finesse, sensitivity and clear eyes." Vancouver Int. Film Festival
"...Deeply affected both my heart and mind" Rip It Up Magazine
"...Gorgeous, elegant, and breath-haltingly profound." Flicks.co.nz
"...An impressive little film that deserves attention." New Zealand Herald
"...Gorgeous, elegant, and breath-haltingly profound."
Ever the Land, the acclaimed documentary on the design and construction of the unique cultural building for Tūhoe iwi will also feature at this year’s Venice Biennale. Ever the Land tells the story of the building of Te Wharehou o Tūhoe at Tāneatua in the Ureweras, a project of huge significance for Tūhoe. Jasmax designed the new building to meet the strict criteria of the international Living Building Challenge, and it now serves as the headquarters and meeting place of the Tūhoe people.
FIGHTING FOR THE FUTURE In March 2016, the theatres, libraries, universities, and museums of Washington, D.C., were once again the setting for the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital, an annual event (now in its 24th year) featuring more than 140 Earth-friendly films. Read on to learn what Science staff thought of 12 of this year's featured films.
In full Maori regalia and ceremony, through hand made clay bricks, 400 year old timber, the consideration for a fish gutting station with regards for the buildings thermal envelope efficiency, the building is alive with the wishes of the Tûhoe. If walls could speak, the Te Wharehou o Tūhoe would whisper the voices of its builder’s ancestors.
March is always a very busy time at the museum as the change of seasons sweeps in Cherry Blossom visitors as well as new and exciting programming at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). On March 19th the DC Environmental Film Festival (March 15-26, 2016) in conjunction with NMNH and the Embassy of New Zealand presented the film Ever The Land (2015, 93 mins) in NMNH’s Baird Auditorium.
One fascinating film, “Ever the Land,” documents the planning and construction in 2014 by the Maori Ngai Tuhoe tribe in New Zealand of a “Living Building” that is 21st century cutting edge in technology and concept, but respectful of Tuhoe values, relationship to the land, and history of self- sufficiency--Commitment to Mother Earth, Father Sky, and the Environment.
Grohnert's film Ever The Land is one of the festival standouts for Jakobs. The film documents the construction by Ngai Tuhoe of Te Kura Whare, their 'living building'. "This one is really exciting. We actually have a Tuhoe trustee coming down to talk about it and it's really topical at the moment with the Rangitaane Treaty settlements being signed of
The layers in Ever The Land are fascinating - the commitment of Tuhoe to a low impact building, to combining the modern and the ancient, the use of engineering detail and lots of human labour, and the themes of resolving Treaty grievances and creating new pride, were woven through.
People, including Tuhoe who’d made the trek to the premiere, carefully and respectfully thanked Sarah for her testament to the environment, her openness in wanting to know the community without prejudice or previous knowledge, of showing acceptance and empathy that we often find missing in our own portrayals. Sometimes, it seems, it takes fresh eyes to help us see ourselves from the inside out.
If you get a chance to see this beautiful film, then please do. It shines.
“What started out as a documentary about architecture, quickly turned into an immersive experience of real life that is deeply human, spontaneous and involving. The intention with the film is to provide an open invitation to discover and rediscover our own sense of connection with ourselves, each other and the land that sustains us,” says Grohnert.
Ever the Land was filmed over a period of two years. Grohnert’s style is unobtrusive and restrained, and her cinéma-vérité approach provides enough space for a leisurely and telling narrative to develop. Te Uruwera has formed an important part of New Zealand cinematic history (Utu, In Spring One Plants Alone, for example), in which the landscape’s natural beauty in turn formed a key part of the storytelling, but Grohnert focuses less on the environment and more on the people.
At previous festivals, I’ve been let down by New Zealand features I hyped myself up for. But this year, I backed Ever The Land, and got treated to an experience that documented the birth of an important New Zealand monument while providing an organic look at Tūhoe life and philosophy (i.e. the movie was great).
Last night the NZ International Film Festival premiered a documentary called, "Ever the Land" directed by Sarah Grohnert which illustrates Tūhoe moving forward to a better and brighter future, with the completion of their $15mil landmark building, Te Uru Taumatua.
Every now and then you see a film that takes your breath away. Ever the Land is one of those films. A nuanced and deeply engaging look into the heart of Ngāi Tūhoe, Ever the Land follows the journey of Tūhoe as they built their first tribal headquarters in generations, Te Uru Taumatua.
Ngai Tuhoes Te Uru Taumatua whare is the Southern Hemispheres first living building constructed to meet the Living Building Challenge (LBC) criteria, which aims to build regenerative environmental design and buildings with a focus on site, water, energy, health, materials, equity and beauty.The three year architectural undertaking by the late master of New Zealand architecture, Ivan Mercep of Jasmax, to build sustainably with as little effect on the environment as possible, was captured on film for a feature observational documentary entitled Ever The Land, by Sarah Grohnert.
Tell us what this film means to you – and why people should see it.
This is my first feature film and despite having already worked in the film industry for 15 years, this is far and wide the most fulfilling project I ever had the opportunity to be part of. The film means a lot to me because of the trust, aroha and support that Tūhoe showed me in capturing this historically important period for the iwi and the building of such an iconic landmark.
Ivan Mercep’s involvement as the lead architect for the project is particularly significant, Grohnert says. “I find it very humbling, and perhaps it is appropriate to consider the building as a kind of reconciliation of a complicated cultural conversation. Ivan had a huge part to play in that. He was known to be an exquisite listener, very sensitive to the needs of his clients and I think he knew how to embrace and honour the trust and faith that Tūhoe put in him.”
The New Zealand International Film Festival is coming up very soon and Mark talks Director Sarah Grohnert on her latest film which observes the planning and construction of New Zealand’s first ‘living building’, Te Wharehou o Tūhoe framed against ongoing negotiations with the Government, which culminated in the Crown’s historic apology last year.
The premiere of a film which captures the conception of the first living building in New Zealand will showcase next month at the New Zealand International Film Festival taking place in Auckland. 'Ever the Land' is a film directed by Sarah Grohnert and tells the story of Te Wharehou o Tūhoe.
- Maori Televison News feature EVER THE LAND
Observing the planning and construction of New Zealand’s first ‘living building’, Te Wharehou o Tūhoe, Sarah Grohnert draws on images of incredible beauty to portray the profound connection between Ngāi Tūhoe and the land.
- EVER THE LAND review from NZIFF
Today’s reveal adds eleven New Zealand titles to our growing list of early announcements, along with a further collection of locally made shorts that will appear in the Aotearoa section of the programme. NZIFF has worked long and hard to provide this platform for striking work made within our own shores and we salute the filmmakers and their commitment to putting New Zealand and New Zealanders on screen.
- EVER THE LAND in NZIFF programme lineup
SARAH Grohnert remembers the first time she met Tame Iti.
Dressed in a pair of non-descript overalls with a paint-brush in one hand, Mr Iti was joking around with other men contracted to paint the inside of the building that would become Tuhoe’s headquarters in Taneatua, Te Kura Whare.
- Article on EVER THE LAND Film Poster