Writer/director Matasila Freshwater enjoys collaborating just as much as locking herself away to work as a "gremlin in the dark". Equally adept at live action and animation (where she often illustrates her own characters), Freshwater’s credits include award-winning animated short Shmeat (2016), horror series Teine Sā (2021), and movie film Vai (2019). In this ScreenTalk interview, Freshwater discusses the challenges of filming in the Solomon Islands for her segment in Vai, being a control freak, the power of silliness — and how defining your artistic voice can be a matter of just getting on with it.
There's a sequence in which the protagonist dives underwater ... we were flying out the next day, and I was just like 'we have to get this shot — its an important moment for her' ... we all swam out to the shipwreck. The camera operator expelled his lungs to get that shot underwater, and I was just sitting on this World War Two shipwreck, being like 'this is wild'. — like I wrote this story, and we're all here fighting for it.– Matasila Freshwater on one of her earliest experiences directing live action — filming the Solomon Islands segment of movie Vai (2019)