Celebrating Tongan film industry
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.