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MFF19 | Opening Night Premiere – VAI
March 20, 2019 @ 9:00 pm - 11:30 pm NZDT$6
Southern Hemisphere Premiere
Directors: Nicole Whippy (Fiji), ‘Ofa-Ki-Levuka Guttenbeil-Likiliki (Tonga), Matasila Freshwater (Solomon Islands), Amberley Jo Aumua (NZ Samoa), Mīria George (Cook Islands), Marina Alofagia McCartney (Samoa), Dianna Fuemana (Niue), Becs Arahanga (Aotearoa)
Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Language: Fijian, Tongan, Roviana (Solomon Islands) Samoan, Cook Islands Māori, Niuean, English and Māori (NZ)
Vai is a portmanteau feature film made by 9 female Pacific filmmakers, filmed in 7 different Pacific countries: Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Kuki Airani (Cook Islands), Samoa, Niue and Aotearoa (New Zealand). It is about the journey of empowerment through culture over the lifetime of one woman, Vai, played by a different Indigenous actress in each of the Pacific countries. In each of these Pacific nations ‘vai’ means water.
Vai premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in January 2019 to critical acclaim. It is produced by Kerry Warkia (Papua New Guinean;Kokopo, Raluana and Scottish) and Kiel McNaughton (Tainui, Ngāti Mahanga).
“From its conception through to production and now it’s NZ Premiere, ‘Vai’ aligns with the Māorilands Film Festival kaupapa which is to celebrate Indigenous creativity and storytelling in film. We are incredibly proud to have ‘Vai’ open this important and exciting film festival.”
Preceded by short film
Praise Song for Oceania
Director: Justyn Ah Chong
Writer: Craig Santos Perez
Duration: 5 minutes
Nation: Kanaka Maoli, Chamorro
Praise Song for Oceania is a karakia to the ecologies, histories, politics, economies and cultures of the Ocean.
- Māoriland Film Festival
- Memorial Hall
145 Tasman Road
Otaki, 5512 New Zealand