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.
We travelled with 17 crew and pretty much became a family by the end of it. What was really wonderful was being greeted and welcomed by the village or people of the filmmaker — that was just incredible, wonderful and life-changing.– Producer Kiel McNaughton in The Sunday Star-Times, 10 February 2019
Released in New Zealand cinemas on 4 April 2019
World premiere on 8 February 2019 at Berlin's CineStar Imax, as part of the 2019 Berlin Film Festival
New Zealand premiere on 20 March 2019 at Ngā Purapura in Ōtaki, as part of the 2019 Māoriland Film Festival