Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Pacific documentary ties in with Mental Health Awareness Week

Tongan-Kiwi documentary For My Father’s Kingdom, directed by Vea Mafile’o and Jerry Tauamiti, is now screening in different parts of Aotearoa as part of a nationwide community screenings tour.

For My Father’s Kingdom follows Tongan pensioner Saia Mafile’o and his family as they are stretched to breaking point by the commitment and passion to God that has driven Saia’s life. This debut feature documentary offers a rich view of how contemporary secular families deal with the rigours of devout Christian tithing, as well as a unique insight into traditional Tongan culture.

Director, Vea Mafile’o say the themes in the film are incredibly personal to her family but are also applicable to many migrant families.

“This film allows families to talk about things that really matter and a lot of the time, affects things like mental wellbeing,” says Vea.

The road tour, which is being supported by the Ministry of Pacific Peoples, Pasifika Futures, Rialto Distribution and the New Zealand Film Commission began in Tauranga on the 16th September then stopped off in Gisborne, Napier, Wellington and from the 23 rd September will go to Christchurch, Oamaru before ending in Dunedin on the 28 th September.

Vea says while the documentary is still in some theatres around the country, the tour is a chance to take the film directly to communities.

“It’s an opportunity for those who might not otherwise have a chance to see it in theatres,” says Vea.

“We also have my father Saia with us and our brother Robert, so we can get to talanoa with our communities straight after each screening.”

The film, which was recently voted ‘number three’ in the Melbourne International Film Festival documentary audience awards, is the first Pacific documentary to be funded by the New Zealand Film Commission.

The themes in the film also contribute to this year’s Tongan Language Week theme: Fakakoloa ‘o Aotearoa ‘aki ‘a e Tauhi Fonua – A Tongan Perspective of Enriching Aotearoa, New Zealand.

But it is not just a film for Tongans, it’s for all Pacific people and all New Zealanders.

“We’ve had some amazing feedback and coverage on the film,” says Vea.

“Well known film reviewer Kate Rodgers says this film opens the floor for many important conversations, which are already happening now,” she adds.

If you would like to host a private screening of the film get in touch with the For My Father’s Kingdom team at [email protected]

For more information please go to www.formyfatherskingdom.com or go to the For My Father’s Kingdom Facebook/Instagram /Twitter pages, leave a review and engage in the conversations today.


Faletolu Kosipeli Methodist Church
42 Sommerset Cres, Christchurch
Tuesday, 24 September 7.00 PM

Oamaru Opera House
90 Thames Street, Oamaru
Friday, 27 September, 7.00pm

Castle Lecture Theatre, Otago University
362 Leith Street, North Dunedin
Saturday, 28 September, 5.00pm

Watch the trailer below…

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