TONGAN FILMMAKER IN HAWAII FILM FESTIVAL

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By Mele Laumanu Petelo

HONOLULU, Hawaii (August 1, 1997 - PIDP/CPIS)---A Tongan filmmaker living in Hawaii, Taueva Fa’otusia, has had her first production featured in the 1997 Pacific Islands Images Film Festival.

Titled UIAKI FONO, her 25- minute documentary takes a sensitive look at the Polynesian kingdom of Tonga, the last remaining monarchy in the Pacific.

The South Pacific nation now is undergoing a re-evaluation of its ancient traditions amid an increasing influx of Western influences. At risk are traditions that have survived among Tongans for thousands of years.

Taueva, who is writer, producer, and director of the documentary, created her film as a prayer for her people to revive Uiaki Fono, the Tongan tradition of using community discussion to solve any and all problems and differences peacefully.

Taueva is an active playwright, TV producer, and documentary filmmaker. She has been producing local TV programs for a Diamond Head, Hawaii play writing group and for the Tongan community for more than 20 years. She already is working on a new play as well as beginning a documentary titled KAVA - THE RITUALS.

The 1997 Pacific Islands Images Film Festival began on July 23 and runs until August 3 throughout Hawaii.

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