This 2005 documentary tells the story of four New Zealand-born women whose parents come from villages in Samoa, Tonga and Niue. Social worker and photographer Emily Mafile'o, students and mothers Pule Puletaua and Lanni Liuvaie, and playwright Louise Tu’u face the challenges of combining two cultures to forge an identity in Aotearoa — from family, language, food and religion, to flatting and hair cutting rituals. As narrator Sandra Kailali says, "to be true to both is hard work: success in one often comes at a cost to the other."
Director Sam Peacocke injected his love of motor racing into The Checks' first music video. Set in the 1960s, it contrasts a young Japanese driver heading out to the track with his girlfriend waiting forlornly at home. Tapping into his own racing experience, Peacocke (Manurewa) made the stylish, streamlined clip for $30,000, filming at Hobsonville air base near Auckland. Peacocke chose two newbie actors, who "outshone all the people we auditioned from actors and model agencies". The meticulous attention to period detail includes authentic Lotus 18 1.5 litre Junior racing cars.
With 'Turn from the Rain', The Veils added their name to the prestigious list of bands who have recorded at London's famed Abbey Road Studios — a list which includes The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Radiohead. According to frontman Finn Andrews “The room there is so musty and still … you want any sound you make to be worth disturbing the grand silence for.” The idea of making a video at Abbey Road arrived at 2am in a Hackney flat; the performances were shot on 16mm film, an appropriately retro touch considering the venue. The recordings were later released on The Abbey Road EP.
Tusi Tamasese’s first feature tells the story of a taro farmer (played by real life farmer Fa’afiaula Sagote) who finds the courage to stand tall for his family and culture, and stand up to sceptical villagers. Variety called it “compelling drama”. Though previous films (e.g. Flying Fox on a Freedom Tree) had told stories inspired by Samoan writers, The Orator was the first feature written and directed by a Samoan — and the first filmed in Samoan. When it debuted in September 2011 at the prestigious Venice Film Festival, it won a special jury mention in the Orizzonti (New Horizons) section.
In this Dave Garbett-directed Nesian Mystik music video a secret force of Polynesian Grey Lynn agents work to unify the community by taking their message to the streets, then to a television station. In scenes that showcase the band's sense of humour — and echoing a real-life 1995 takeover of One Network News by Māori protestors — the boys manage to take over the airwaves, where they transmit their own brand of 'Nesian programming: from master-chefing taro and bully beef to bro-senting the news. ‘Unity’ was a Top 10 single from the hit Polysaturated album.
Goretti Chadwick and Anapela Polataivao have been performing as comedy duo Pani & Pani since the mid 2000s. They created and hosted TV's Game of Bros, and have appeared on Fresh. This interview includes the duo discussing: Taking the mickey out of their mums’ enthusiasm for potatoes while growing up Their early love of Billy T James, and finding the best laughs were to be had in church How a failed attempt to avoid a famous teacher at Auckland Girls' Grammar School led Chadwick to acting studies at Unitec, and later taking up comedy Polataivao finding the itch for drama through cheeky improvisation during Sunday School plays, being a founder of theatre group Kila Kokonut Krew, and why she still considers herself a dramatic actor How Pani & Pani was inspired by Charlotte Dawson advice show How’s Life?, and trying to make each other laugh How Pani & Pani are highly exaggerated versions of themselves
Kirsty Cameron started in short film and art installation, before costume designing the first of around 20 feature films — including the acclaimed Whale Rider, Slow West, and No. 2. Her list of awards also includes The Orator and TV movie Jean, about aviator Jean Batten. Cameron's third short as writer/ director, teen fable The Lethal Innocents, was invited to festivals in Sweden, Germany and the USA.