Pasifika Film Fest 2020

Pasifika Film Fest 2020 Trailer 

Feature Film's 


Tattooing | Voyaging | Diaspora | Social Issues | Arts | Dance | Dance/Diaspora



RUAHINE: Stories In Her Skin

Hiona Henare

Premiere: 16th November 

Ruahine: Stories In Her Skin is a beautifully lyrical and intimate documentary following the ceremony of two women receiving their traditional moko kauae (chin tattoo).

slow but sure.jpg

Slow But Sure: The Story of the Tuaikaepau

James Taumoepeau

Premiere: 16th November 

In 1962, seventeen men tried to sail from Tonga to New Zealand on a 51 foot sailboat named Tuaikaepau. A fateful storm blew them off course and into the Minerva Reef where they were shipwrecked and marooned in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean. An epic account of their fight for survival that lasted 101 days.

WTV-our-moana-poster-alt6 (1).jpg

We, the Voyagers: Our Moana 

Marianne George, Jacob Penchansky, Dixon Holland, H. M. Wyeth

Premiere: 16th November

We are the living crew of Lata, the Polynesian culture-hero who built the first voyaging canoe and navigated across the Pacific. We use only ancient designs, materials, and methods, and we invite everyone to reconnect with ancestors and sustainable lifeways. We offer you the real Moana! In our isolated Polynesian community, we live the story of our ancestral culture-hero, Lata. To make a voyage Lata needs crew. He welcomes men, women and children, hard workers with skills and applicants of dubious character, including a sailing anthropologist. Our community blesses our vessel, and we learn how to sail the open ocean in Lata’s arms, interacting with winds, waves, stars, and other signs that our ancestors show us when we need them. We arrive at islands and learn what happened to family members since the last voyage, generations earlier. We reconcile, reaffirm our love for each other, and look to our future together.


We, The Voyagers: Our Vaka 

Marianne "Mimi" George, Heuionalani Wyeth, Jacob Penchansky

Premiere: 16th November

We, Polynesian voyagers of Taumako, Solomon Islands, share our history, motivations, and skills, through story-telling, canoe building, and wayfinding. We recall our ancestors, who made the greatest human migration. We use only designs, materials, and methods of our culture-hero, Lata, who built the first voyaging canoe (vaka) and navigated to distant islands. After Europeans took over we became isolated and unsustainable. In 1996 Paramount Chief Kaveia, our most experienced navigator, led a new generation in planting gardens, feeding workers, making rope from plants, weaving and sewing sails, protecting our trees, adzing parts for voyaging canoes, and lashing them together. Kaveia also enlisted an anthropologist to help us make films. After Kaveia died in 2009, Chief Holani became our new Lata, and prepared us for an open ocean voyage. Our story of Lata teaches that everyone is welcome in Lata’s crew, and that we can avoid making key mistakes as we prepare to connect with long-lost family and new friends on faraway shores.

My Fathers Kingdom poster_V10_JULY_2019

For my Father's Kingdom 

Vea Mafile`o, Jeremiah Tauamiti

Premiere 19th November 

For My Father`s Kingdom follows Tongan pensioner Saia Mafile’o and his family as they are stretched to breaking point by the commitment and passion to God that has driven Saia’s life. This debut feature documentary offers a rich view of how contemporary secular families deal with the rigours of devout Christian tithing, as well as a unique insight into traditional Tongan culture.

Poster 2rev.jpg

Aliko & Amba 

Mark Eby, Diane Anton

Premiere: 23rd November 

Aliko & Ambai is a feature film about two young women facing the challenges of growing up in the beautiful Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. The challenges are significant: tribal conflict, poverty, bullying, domestic violence,and forced marriage. Aliko struggles to complete her education and Ambai searches to escape her abusive home and reunite with her biological father. They navigate the many obstacles in their lives and endeavour to build brighter futures for themselves, supported by the strength of friendship.


A Bit Na Ta 

Gideon Kakabin, David Bridie, George Telek

Premiere: 26th November 

a Bit na Ta' is a 30 minute film and surround sound project located in ples (place) — Blanche Bay in East New Britain — with historical stories told as experienced by its local people, the Tolai, between 1875 and 1975.


Ka Huakaʻi: The Journey to Merrie Monarch

Gerard Elmore


Premiere: 26th November 

A dancer, a kumu hula (teacher of hula) and a former Miss Aloha Hula go on a journey to the annual Merry Monarch, considered the Olympics of hula.



Kapa Haka: A Journey Home

Te Anu M Tonga, Heather Harrison

Premiere 26th November 

A Tongan/Maori girl, who lives in America, goes home to New Zealand to film three Maori youth who compete in Kapa Haka. She follows their journey and understanding behind what it means to belong. She begins to painfully realize that this documentary is not about them but about her-about us.

Short Film's 


Pacific Journey Shorts | Tales from Oceania Shorts | Niu Kids Shorts | Talanoa Shorts | Toktok Shorts | Bung Wangtaim 



Tatau, The Tales of Diaspora 

Benji Timu

Premiere: 16th November 

A personal journey for Benji, a second-generation Aotearoa-born Samoan receiving the Pe'a, covering the body from the knees to the waist. A recollection of the seven days of this spiritual and painful experience.

Sky Aelans Coming Soon Poster.png

Sky Aelans 

Edward Manuga, Georgianna Lepping, Jeremy Gwao, Regina Lepping, Zahiyd Namo, Junior Patrick Makau, Manner Levo, Neil Nuia, Daniel Kakadi

Premiere: 16th November 

Decades of logging have drastically changed the landscape and lifestyle of those who call the Solomon Islands home. Now, the last untouched forest of the country is at risk of being lost. The Indigenous communities who live in the high mountain forests, known locally as the “Sky Aelans” or Sky Islands, are the last guardians of these sacred spaces. This film is a reflection and celebration of the vital bond that these communities have with their Sky Aelans.


The Calling 

Julia Mageau Gray

Premiere: 16th November 

THE CALLING. It is the water that brought us to our land. Our old people to our land. It is the water that brought ‘them’ to our land, their new land. It is the water that falls from our eyes at all that separates us today, from the way we were. It is the water that continues to call us back to our old peoples thinking. THE CALLING. Supported by Creative New Zealand in 2018 The Calling was created for the 'A Maternal Lens' exhibit 2018, 4ème Biennale Internationale de Casablanca



Becs Arahanga

Premiere: 16th November 

On the day she gets her first menses, Hinekura is initiated into adulthood with ceremony and blessings. She's taken to a wananga where her role within the tribe is revealed to her.

Screen Shot 2020-11-01 at 11.13.15


Julia Mageau Gray

Premiere: 16th November 

This 2016 Loading Doc introduces a heavily-tattoed Englishman living in Rarotonga. Croc Coulter is an unlikely master of the traditional art of tātatau (tattoo); the documentary follows Coulter as he teaches the art form to an apprentice, Moko Smith. Coulter also lives with cystic fibrosis. It was directed by Robert George, who has Cook Islands Māori and Māori heritage, and a background as both a painter and in post-production work for the screen. The mini documentary was shared internationally; it also featured on National Geographic's Short Film Showcase.


Poster colour Alt.jpg


Wolfgang Roman Hetet Schmidt

Premiere: 19th November 

A surfer finds himself out of service on his way home and now must do his best to help someone in need.


The Messiah 

Vela Manusaute

Premiere: 19th November 

A young runaway finds refuge with a 17 year-old self proclaimed Messiah in a South Auckland garage only to discover that true salvation is in his own hands..

Liliu 8 .jpg


Jeremiah Tauamiti

Premiere: 19th November 

Solo, a young Samoan interpreter for a Native Court in Colonial, New Zealand Samoa, does what he thinks is best for his people and at times lies as he translates. However, High Chief Nua who's charged with trespass, understands and speaks English. What follows is a tirade of verbal punches between Solo, Nua, and an old Judge hell-bent on Colonial rule. To make matters worse, Nua's stranded grandchildren turn up, but forced at gunpoint Nua sends them away. Challenged by Nua, the Judge explodes, declaring them savages, and inferior to whites. Solo finally accepts he is simply a pawn. Taking a stand now, Solo joins Nua having, "Never trespassed on our own land”. Nua pleads not guilty to the charge of trespass, merely attempting to bury her husband on their land as is tradition, but knowing her children are still alone. Seething, the Judge orders Nua to be thrown out like a dog. Disgusted, Solo leaves with a final word in Samoan, "If you're given a necklace of authority, wear it responsibly or it withers away". Once outside, Nua's grandchildren reveal themselves from the bushes. Solo takes them in his arms, looks back at Nua, although tied up – in her heart she’s free.

Screen Shot 2020-11-01 at 11.56.26


Maikolo Tohi and Alokoulu Ulukivaiola

Premiere: 19th November 

The myth of Felehuhui...

Moo-Poster-v3 (1).jpg


Anela Ling


Premiere: 19th November 

Two grieving cousins navigate Oʻahu’s haunted terrain in search of life - before and after.

Screen Shot 2020-11-02 at 12.04.10

The Education of Grayson Toki

Glenill Burua

Premiere: 19th November 

Unable to comes to terms with his father abandoning the family, teenager Grayson Toki blames his overbearing mother for their situation. When he starts failing his exams his world falls apart and instead of studying harder he skips school and hangs out with the local ‘bad boys’.

Poster e205a4c3fb-poster.jpg


Alana Hicks

Premiere: 19th November 

All Barbara wants to do is watch the Simpsons, but her recently migrated mum has just been overcharged at the local shops, and it’s up to Barbara to sort it out. As usual.



Jeremiah Puni


Premiere: 19th November 

KEYS is a story of Lei, a 16-year-old piano prodigy who lives in the Western Sydney suburbs. Struggling to survive, she uses her talents on the ivory keys as a constructive creative outlet. Torn between her mentor Mrs Hagedorn and her mother Cecilia, Lei is seeking to win her mother’s affection, even if for a day.

46YL Poster.jpg

46 Years Later

Lealani Siaosi

Premiere: 19th November 

This documentary will explore the views and personal experiences of a university student, Chris Tenesio as a young, Samoan man living in New Zealand. We will also compare and contrast his thoughts and stories with that of his Grandmother, Tauasu Vaeafe. Chris will describe what it’s like being a New Zealand born Samoan while his Grandmother shares her experiences of migrating from Samoa to New Zealand in the 60s.

Screen Shot 2020-11-02 at 12.26.03

Matafeo Consultants

Sophia Matafeo

Premiere: 19th November 

Ron is a Samoan Quantity Surveyor and Project Manager; he came into this career because the work was hard but the money was extremely well worth it. However, after talking with his Church’s Minister he realises a harsh reality- that racism and discrimination against Pacific Island people are still very much alive in the industry he works in. Through the ups and downs of his decision making, his wife Mary is there by his side. He has now realised his purpose in life, to help the Pasifika Community and his Church..


Misadventures of a Pacific Professional

Reina Va'ai

Premiere: 19th November 

The series centres on Alofa Williams - a young Pasifika woman climbing the corporate ladder. Alofa is constantly bumping up against unconscious bias in the workplace, and must find an authentic way of dealing with it. This prompts an internal struggle between the part of Alofa that was raised to be humble (Faletua), and the part of her that descended from warriors (Nafanua).



Precious Harris

Premiere: 23rd November 

Amaia, a 14-year-old girl struggles to settle as her mother blames her for the breakdown of their family, while just moving into a women’s refuge. She meets Tomasi, a boy in the refuge who gives her hope, but is that enough?



Briar Grace-Smith


Premiere: 23rd November 

When a young woman is released from jail and goes straight to a party, she’s forced to confront events from the past and the realisation that the person that she wants to see the least, is the person she needs the most. Her mum.

Koro Poster FINAL .jpg


Nicholas Riini


Premiere: 23rd November 

When sounds of war drive Koro to relive his past, his whānau are forced into a battle of their own Koro sits in his car. War medals, pinned to his suit, lie in his lap. He is lost in the thought of another ANZAC service. Koro’s thoughts are interrupted when his grandsons, Whenua and Soul, bang into the car, fighting over Whenua’s phone. The phone pumps out battle sounds from a digital war game.  The sounds of war jar Koro’s memory of his days in the jungle during the Vietnam war, and he is catapulted back to that time, the fear and torment move him to find a safe haven. But, Whenua and Soul get caught in the crossfire of Koro’s memories, as Koro tries to protect his comrades, Timoti and Maaka. Soul and Whenua are confused, shaken and injured, while Koro feels anguish and shame that he has not protected them.  A new day dawns for Koro and his whānau. Soul joins Koro in his car and reconciles the events from yesterday, forgiving Koro for hurting him. As Soul and Whenua leave on the school bus, Koro joins them, hoping to make it to the dawn ANZAC service.


The Rogers

Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson

Premiere: 23rd November 

An intimate glimpse of the first visible group of transgender men in the Pacific - the Rogers of Samoa. From the loneliness of family rejection and homelessness to the camaraderie of cooking, church and dance, their stories reveal the challenges and possibilities of life in an island society rooted in tradition.



Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer, Joe WIlson


Premiere: 23rd November 

Kapaemahu reveals the healing power of four mysterious stones on Waikiki Beach – and the legendary transgender spirits within them. Long ago, four extraordinary individuals of dual male and female spirit brought the healing arts from Tahiti to Hawaii. Beloved by the people for their gentle ways and miraculous cures, they imbued four giant boulders with their powers.  The stones still stand on Waikiki Beach, but the true story behind them has been hidden – until now. Drawing on new research and narrated in an ancient Hawaiian dialect, Kapaemahu brings this powerful legend back to life in vivid animation, seen through the eyes of a curious child.


'Ofeina'o Lesieli

Shannon Robinson

Premiere: 23rd November 

'Ofeina'o Lesieli is a documentary short film set in, Nuku'alofa, in the Kingdom of Tonga. Here we spend a day in the life of Lesieli, a bright and loveable young Tongan woman living with Down Syndrome, After having discovered a passion for table tennis, Lesielis’ life has become blessed in new and exciting ways. Along the way, we meet Lesielis’ committed mother Alisi and her caring table tennis coach Simote. Both of these beautiful souls play essential roles in Lesielis’ world. Things begin to get complicated when Alisi reveals the heart of the story. Their first-hand experience with the locals' belief in magic and how this notion negatively impacts people living with disabilities, both in Tonga and other Pacific islands.


Meet Munch Jr 

Ali Cowley

Premiere: 23rd November 

Sixteen-year-old Nikau doesn’t see anyone who is quite like him. He has a unique view of the world; he also has Asperger Syndrome. Step into Nikau’s colourful world as he turns to his animator Dad to help fulfil aspirations of bringing the character Munch Jr. to life. Powered by the unconditional bond of father and son, an emotional journey must be taken to realise Nikau’s dreams.

Updated Tamatoa Promo Poster.png


Sarah Louise Maddick


Premiere: 23rd November 

Tamatoa is a coming of age short film based on a young Maori boy Toa who has Autism. The film follows Toa's journey as he navigates the challenges of his condition and his internal perspective of the outside world. Throughout the film Toa begins to find courage through the strength of his relationships with his grandmother Nana and his mother Lani. As tensions rise at Toa's school, he is faced with a decision. Will he retaliate against his bullies or will he find another way to overcome the conflict? Inspired by real relationships this film is dedicated to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their loved ones. We hope to inspire audiences to strive for a more inclusive, diverse and understanding society.


Pick Our Fruit 

Isack Hoppitt

Premiere: 26th November 

The nightlife of Canberra explain how they may react if their house began flooding.


Decolonising The Academy

Talei Mangioni, Akil Ahamat


Premiere: 26th November 

This short documentary brings together Indigenous scholars, artists and activists from across Australia, the Pacific and Asia on Ngunnawal and Ngambri land at the Australian National University (ANU). What does it mean to be indigenous in the academy? How do we decolonise research and teaching? How do we build solidarity with each other across our differences? Here, the collaborators discuss important perspectives on the ways in which decolonial work can be undertaken at universities and beyond.


Standing Above The Clouds 

Jalena Keane-Lee

Premiere: 26th November 

Standing Above the Clouds is a story of inter-generational women activists, who call themselves Ku Kia'i Mauna, or guardians of the mountain. The film follows three sets of mothers and daughters indigenous to the Big Island of Hawaii, at the forefront of the movement to protect their sacred mountain, Mauna Kea, from an eighteen story, Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). Standing Above the Clouds explores the relationships between native Hawaiian mothers and daughters as they go from standing in ceremony, to standing on the mountain, and in the courtroom.


This is The Way We Rise 

Ciara Lacy


Premiere: 26th November 

THIS IS THE WAY WE RISE is an exploration into the creative process, following slam poet Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio as her calling to protect Mauna Kea reinvigorates her art.



Jermaine D'Vauz

Premiere: 26th November 

FEZ is a high energy, short documentary spectacle celebrating Samoan-Australian entertainer Fez Faanana and his trailblazing artistic journey from growing up in small town Ipswich, Queensland to representing Australia on the world stage in dazzling drag, with his co-founded all male burlesque company "Briefs Factory".

Choice of My Parents_10 (0-00-08-05).jpg

You, The Choice of My Parents 

Meli Tuqota Jr


Premiere: 26th November 

A poetic journey through the life of a woman going through an arranged marriage, animated on traditional Tongan Cloth called Ngatu.

tt auckland.jpg


Julia Mage'au Gray

Premiere: 16th November 

Tep Tok (Tap Talk) around the importance of tattoo revival and the continuance of marking skin for the next generation.

This short documentary captures a series of Auckland conversations with Tepaeru Ariki Lulu French, Milly Koria Grant, Graham Tipene, Ahukata Keefe, Salevasa Gray, Georgie Williams and Moko Smith.