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Hero image for Matasila Freshwater: avoiding earnestness, & going underwater in the Solomon Islands

Matasila Freshwater: avoiding earnestness, & going underwater in the Solomon Islands

ScreenTalk Interviews – 2021

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.

This video was first uploaded on 30 September 2021, and is available under this Creative Commons licence. This licence is limited to use of ScreenTalk interview footage only and does not apply to any video content and photographs from films, television, music videos, web series and commercials used in the interview.

Interview by Rosie Howells, Camera by Chris Terpstra, Directed and Edited by Morgan Hopkins

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)

Some of Matasila's work...

Thumbnail image for Vai

Vai

Thumbnail image for Shmeat

Shmeat