Excitement is building as auditions are starting to be held in Samoa, for a short film, “Liliu”, written and directed by Jeremiah Tauamiti and produced by Tagata Pasifika producer, Ngaire Fuata.
The film is set in 1920 Samoa, and will be shot locally in a couple of months’ time.
Samoa-based ‘Filet685 Production’ husband and wife team’ Asoelei To’alepai and Fiona Collins are excited about this upcoming project.
The duo are looking for the lead characters who are a male (20-30 years old); a female (40-50 years old); a team of male extras and two girls/two boys (4-11 years old).
Keenly aware of time, church, family, work and study constraints that aspiring actors and performers have to deal with, rather than hold auditions in one place and call people in, Fiona and Asolelei will negotiate a mutually, suitable time and place, if you contact them.
“We always get hyped up and excited when we audition, and tend to do more performance coaching than an actor would normally get overseas.
The potential and talent are definitely a-plenty here at home, so we will go the extra mile to make sure the auditionee is able to give the best performance they can by teaching a bit of technique and camera confidence,” said To’alepai.
“It’s a great script,” said Colllins.
“We are chuffed to be a part of the film’s creation – he’s (Jeremiah) written a very beautiful, strongly-Samoan story that will speak to all generations - in both the Samoan and English languages,” she added.
“It’s important for people to understand also that although we do the auditioning here in Samoa, the recorded footage gets sent to New Zealand for Jeremiah (writer/director) who makes the final decision on who gets the roles,” Collins said.
“We’ve held quite a few auditions for various films and screen projects now and sometimes there can be the misunderstanding that Asolelei and I have the final say – we don’t, we just do our best to provide the director with choices suitable for what he (in this case) is looking for.”
If you are not particularly keen to be in front of the camera but would still like to be part of the filming process and spend some time on set, there are various technical support roles which also need to be filled, Fiona said.
“We really urge people to give it a try – no need for shyness – if you want to help tell our stories, then you have to put yourselves out there – we will make sure you are camera ready, and no one can tell our stories, or represent us, like we can!” was Asolelei To’alepai’s final comment.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Nanai Jeremiah Tauamiti has been a full-time television director for 10 years in New Zealand, but recently has moved into the world of film.
He has directed several independent short films including Tongan legend shorts, ‘The Legend of Kava’, and ‘Ahoeitu’, which won an award for Up and Coming director at the Pasifika Film Festival.
He directed his first New Zealand Film Commission short film “Maria”, in 2015, which is currently in its festival run, including recently The Skábmagovat Film Festival (Finland), the Hawaiian Film Festival, and this month at Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.
Jeremiah has quickly emerged as an up and coming talent in film, and in November of last year he received funding to travel to Toronto's ImagineNative Film Festival, for a short film Ra’stat’ste which he co-wrote/directed.
Jeremiah will debut as writer/director for his second short film with the Film Commission called “Liliu”, the story of a young Samoan Native Court Interpreter, who finds himself defending a traditional chief, to be shot in Samoa this May.
Jeremiah is also in development with the Film Commission as a co-director for a feature length documentary, and has recently been working with Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning editor Doug Blush.
Jeremiah is also a member of the short film team ‘Goodfellas’, which has won Sir Peter Jackson’s Wildcard award six times in the 48hour film festival, in which he won best actor twice and was nominated four times.
He recently had a cameo role in the highly acclaimed “1000 Ropes”, by fellow Samoan director, Tusi Tamasese.