Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Pasifika high schoolers take centre stage at inaugural Pacific film comp

Participants and winners at the Pasifika Youth Film Competition. Photo: Focal Point Photos

The first ever Pasifika Youth Short Film Competition wrapped up over the weekend with a red carpet style awards ceremony. 

Thirty five schools took part in the inaugural competition with over 130 Pasifika high schoolers from Auckland, Rotorua and Tauranga. The star-studded and celebrity-filled event saw students from Tāmakai Makaurau celebrated and honoured. 

Established by Poporazzi Productions founders Esera Tanoa’i and Tupe Solomon-Tanoa’i, the husband and wife duo say the students were incredibly creative and resourceful. 

“Their films gave us an insight into the challenges they are dealing with and the issues they are thinking about,” says Solomon-Tanoa’i.

“We hope that by helping them to share the stories that only they can tell, they’ve gained the confidence to know that what they have to say is important.”

(L-R) Vinnie Bennett, Bailey Po Ching, Samson Rambo, Ian Leaupepe, Nikki Si’ulepa, Esera Tanoa’i, Tupe Solomon-Tanoa’i, Lagi Farani, Diamond Langi, Aroha Awarau. Photo: Focal Point Pictures

The entries were judged by a stellar line-up of Pacific filmmakers and actors, Stacey Leilua, Jeremiah Tauamiti, Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa and Nicole Whippy. 

Each winner received prizes that would help them continue their filmmaking journeys, including “Alofa” statuettes. 

“The award represents all the love that the youth have poured into their film,” says Tanoa’i.

“We designed the award to have the same proportions as an Oscar so that one day the awards may sit side by side on the shelf of our alumni.”


  1. BEST SCREENPLAY – Levi Fifita-Lamb from  Ormiston Junior College PYSFC 2022 AKL – Siva Samoa! Opening Number – A film by Levi Fifita-Lamb – Ormiston Junior College
  2. BEST DIRECTOR SENIOR – Joey Schuster – Canned Justice! – St Pauls College
  3. BEST DIRECTOR JUNIOR – Tamah Falefitu – Avondale College
  4. BEST ACTRESS – Perenise Lam – On Time – Mangere College
  5. BEST ACTOR – Kuresa Tapula’aia – Inside the mind of an Intellectual – Mt Albert Grammar
  6. BEST SOUND – Jessica Vili – Inside – Southern Cross Campus
  7. BEST EDITING – Ruby Naufahu – Everything works out in the end – Epsom Girls Grammar
  8. BEST DOCUMENTARY – Josh Engu – MI Musical – Manurewa Intermediate
  9. BEST PASIFIKA LANGUAGE – James Fidow – Back to the family – De La Salle College
  10. BEST SCHOOL – Mt Albert Grammar
  11. PEOPLE’S CHOICE – Kuresa Tapula’aia from Mt Albert Grammar, Hearts Apart
  12. BEST FILM – Keilani Fifita-Lamb  from Ormiston Junior College PYSFC 2022 AKL – Siva Samoa! Taualuga – A film by Keilani Fifita-Lamb – Ormiston Junior College

BEST SUPPORTING MENTOR – Meli Kaveinga, Birdwood College

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