Having completed a Masters of Arts at The University of Auckland, Marina Alofagia McCartney earned acclaim for her film Milk & Honey, which gave a Pasifika perspective on the infamous dawn raids of the 1970s. The film was selected for the 2012 NZ International Film Festival. It followed her previous 2010 film Granda, about a young Samoan man connecting with his grandfather. The former Miss New Zealand is one of the directors of 2019 feature film Vai, which was invited to the Berlin Film Festival. The drama is set across the Pacific Islands, with eight stories from one woman's life each directed by a different woman.
...I hope that I have made a film that Pasifika feel serves them well, but one which encourages empathy from others. Marina McCartney on her short film Milk & Honey, The Big Idea, 2 August 2012
Following on from Waru (2017), Vai follows a similar collaborative filmmaking model. Nine Pasifika women filmmakers tell 10-minute-long stories from a woman’s life journey. Set in locations across the Pacific (including Aotearoa), the stories are connected by empowerment and water (vai). Vai premiered at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival. The filmmakers are Sharon and Nicole Whippy, Becs Arahanga, Amberley Jo Aumua, Matasila Freshwater, Dianna Fuemana, Mīria George, 'Ofa-ki Guttenbeil-Likiliki and Marina Alofagia McCartney.