Tongans pack premiere screening of ‘Vai’ film

The film ‘Vai’ received a received a full house of audience when it premiered at the Nuku’alofa Film Festival at Tanoa International Dateline Hotel in Nuku’alofa.

The film is about female empowerment across the Pacific and it was told through the story of a woman named Vai, played by different indigenous actors in each of the islands depicting different stages of her life.

Vai, meaning water in each of these countries,  was directed and written by nine female Pacific filmmakers including Tonga's ‘Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki, and filmed on seven Pacific Islands; Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Kuki Airani (Cook Islands), Samoa, Niue and Aotearoa (New Zealand).

The premiere screening was attended by Princess Pilolevu, Lord Tuita, Fatafehi Tuita, the New Zealand High Commissioner Tiffany Babington, and guests.  

The Nuku'alofa Film Festival started on 25 September with a documentary on Tahiti called Ma'ohi Nui, in the heart of the ocean my country.

This week, a number of short films have been selected for screening at the hotel.

The festival wraps up on 11 October with a final documentary, ‘For my Father’s Kingdom’, directed by Vea Mafile’o, and Jeremiah Tauamiti.

The film follows Vea’s father, a Tongan pensioner who lives in New Zealand, and his family, exploring his strong ties with church, and the Tongan culture and tradition.