Software opens door for more Maori speakers to voice international films

VoiceQ is a software tool designed to automatically dub foreign language dialogue for television and film production. The software has been used to translate movies like Squid Games from Korean to English, Money Heist from Spanish to English, and Disney’s Moana from English to te reo Māori.

“This year we are very excited to see more Disney productions – The Lion King and Frozen – and it will be through our partners Kokko Media. So mihi to Chelsea Winstanley and Tweedie Waititi, and all the whānau whānui of the organization there. A huge and very, very humble project that VoiceQ can be an integral part of the technology that supports the domain,” said Steven Renata, CEO of Kiwa Digital.

This year, Kiwa Digital is giving whānau the chance to use its VoiceQ actor app to test and practice voiceovers.

“So what we’re doing is we’re bringing the VoiceQ acting app and giving it to voice talents around the world and motu for free for the next 12 months – to help them professionalize their skills, preparing for the professional auditions they will be doing, and just doing them the best they can.”

Founder of Kiwa Digital and VoiceQ, Rhonda Kite of Te Aupōuri, pioneered the company’s work with Indigenous groups around the world, using technology to preserve Indigenous knowledge in relevant and accessible formats.

“Rhonda Kite, who developed the VoiceQ software in 2003. We’ve built on that mahi, inspiration and commitment by creating a very comprehensive feature set, especially for creative talents – which are people like those who make the translations, the adaptation of the translated script, the creative directors, who then also direct the voice talent and, of course, the show’s stars the voice talent themselves.”

The software opens the door for Aotearoa to translate more international films and Kiwa Digital wants more reo speakers to have the opportunity to participate.

“Those of you who aspire to be the future voice talent in the creative aspects of dubbing here in Aotearoa and around the world, please come to VoiceQ.com, download your free VoiceQ acting subscription, take a look at some of the other products. We want to create the best voice talent in the world and grow this whole industry. So come check us out, we really can’t wait to hear from you,” Renata says.

Darcy J. Skinner