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
Feature film Vai ranges across the Pacific — from an eight-year-old girl's drama-filled day in Fiji, to a sacred moment in an Aotearoa forest. The film follows a similiar collaborative filmmaking model to Waru (2017), only this time the link between each story is a female one. Many of the stories are also connected by water (vai). Vai premiered at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival. The nine Pasifika women 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.