Fabulously rich storytelling from the South Pacific: the imaginary figure Vai is every woman of every age. A beautifully crafted portmanteau feature by nine women filmmakers.
Vai was shot in seven countries across the Pacific – Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Kuki Airani, Samoa, Niue and Aotearoa. In each of these Pacific nations ‘vai’ means water.
This eye-popping, visually pleasing anthology film links together a story of family, culture, and at times, isolation, and offers a celebration of Pacific Island cultures, vanishing traditions and stories of womanhood.
Central character Vai is portrayed by eight different Indigenous actresses, in seven different island nations, at eight different stages of life, with the story spanning a single day. The film opens with an eight-year-old Vai (Ro Mereani Adi Tuimatanisiga) who resists leaving her Fijian home at the insistence of her mother and closes in New Zealand with Vai (Hinetu Dell) now a great-grandmother at eighty. Connecting moments of seemingly different lives thread together Vai’s journey of empowerment through culture over her lifetime.
Widescreen cinematography and a breathtaking tropical colour palette paint the backdrop for a film that brings cinematically underrepresented communities to the screen. Vai beautifully captures the paradisiacal aspects of the Pacific Islands and is a tour de force in collaborative, empowering film making.
Cast & Crew
Directors Becs Arahanga, Nicole Whippy, ‘Ofa-Ki-Levuka Guttenbeil-Likiliki, Matasila Freshwater, Amberley Jo Aumua, Miria George, Marina Alofagia McCartney, Dianna Fuemana
Writers Sharon Whippy, Nicole Whippy, Ofa-ki-Levuka Guttenbeil-Likiliki, Matasila Freshwater, Amberley Jo Aumua, Miria George, Marina Alofagia, Marina Alofagia McCartney, Dianna Fuemana, Becs Arahanga
Stars Ro Mereani Adi Tuimatanisiga, Ar-Ramadi Longopoa, Betsy Luitolo, Agnes Pele, Evotia-Rose Araiti, Fiona Collins, Maliaga Erick, Hinetu Dell
This year we’re pulling out all the stops to bring you our best BREC International Film Festival yet!
Our foyers and Box Office will stay open from 1.15pm every day of the Festival to meet all your ticketing needs and allow you time to relax before and between screenings.
Discover the wines of the South West on Fridays in the Sky Bar with cheese and biscuit platters available for purchase. On Saturday’s we’ll dim the lights and turn up the music. From 3.30pm on Sundays you can enjoy afternoon tea complete with scones and listen to live local musicians.
Find more information on all the Festival Extras here.