Cel­e­brat­ing Ton­gan film in­dus­try

Manukau Courier - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - EMILY FORD

Vea Mafile’o is mak­ing sure her Ton­gan cul­ture gets the big screen treat­ment. The film and tele­vi­sion di­rec­tor is or­gan­is­ing a short film fes­ti­val in Septem­ber to cel­e­brate Ton­gan Lan­guage Week.

It will fea­ture a col­lec­tion of Ton­gan films from the Nuku`alofa Film Fes­ti­val in Tonga.

Not all the films fea­ture the lan­guage, but Mafile’o says it’s about in­ject­ing more Ton­gan con­tent into the com­mu­nity.

‘‘Ton­gans are calling out for Ton­gan con­tent. They love watch­ing movies,’’ Mafile’o says.

‘‘You just don’t see this on our screens. Get­ting to see your­self on screen hardly ever hap­pens.’’

Mafile’o and her fam­ily are the cre­atives be­hind Malosi Pic­tures, a pro­duc­tion com­pany which spe­cialises in Pa­cific video and pho­tog­ra­phy.

While they didn’t have any films of their own for the fes­ti­val, they didn’t have to look far for other peo­ple’s work.

There is a bud­ding film in­dus­try in Tonga, she says, and she’s proud to be help­ing pro­vide con­tent for peo­ple to en­joy.

‘‘It makes all the blood, sweat, and tears feel like they’re jus­ti­fied.’’

Ton­gan Lan­guage Week runs from Septem­ber 3 to 9. The short film fes­ti­val is on Septem­ber 6 at Man­gere Arts Cen­tre from 6.30pm, with a ques­tion and an­swer ses­sion at the end.

Lady Eva, a film about a Ton­gan trans­gen­der woman, is one of the films that fea­tures in the Ton­gan short film fes­ti­val.

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