Skip to content

Emerging Pacific filmmakers recognised for talent at awards

Emerging Pacific filmmakers recognised for talent at awards

  • 22 Aug 2022

(Picture caption: De La Salle College student James Fidow collects the Best Pasifika Language category win at the Poporazzi Production’s Pasifika Youth Short Film Awards, in Auckland.)

Emerging short film and documentary makers have been recognised at the Poporazzi Production’s inaugural Pasifika Youth Short Film Awards. 

Established by Poporazzi Productions founders Esera Tanoa’i and Tupe Solomon-Tanoa’i, and supported by the Ministry of Education, the initiative has encouraged Pacific learners to connect with their families and culture, explore their identity and express their learnings through film.

Tupe says the students’ films provided insight into the challenges they are dealing with and the issues they are thinking about.

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

After registering, participants were required to attend a  workshop in either the Bay of Plenty or Auckland. 

The workshops attracted approximately 130 Year 7-13 students from 45 schools across the two regions, who gained access to guest facilitators working in the screen industry and taught how to create a short film. 

Upon completion of the workshop, participants could enter a short film competition, judged by Pacific screen industry professionals.

Award ceremonies staged at Rotorua on July 30, and in Auckland on August 13, were opportunities to recognise the students’ efforts and celebrate the amount of talented young Pacific people involved in filmmaking. 

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples is a proud supporter of the initiative, and this year, it sponsored the Best Documentary Award scooped up by MT Maunganui College’s Joseph O’Connor, and Manurewa Intermediate’s Josh Engu. 

The Ministry of Education has confirmed to fund this programme again in the new year, and MPP's Toloa programme is keen to continue to support the initiative and the development of the Arts as well.  

Congratulations to the 2022 Poporazzi Production’s Pasifika Youth Short Film Award recipients:

Bay of Plenty winners

  • BEST DIRECTOR SENIOR - Roman Tukimaka, Katikati College
  • BEST DIRECTOR JUNIOR - Polaapau Akauola, Rotorua Intermediate
  • BEST ACTRESS - Annie Peni, Katikati College
  • BEST ACTOR - Desmond Mafile'o, Rotorua Boys High
  • BEST SOUND - Lona Tautua'a, Katikati College
  • BEST EDITING - Melina Pelesikoti, Katikati College
  • BEST DOCUMENTARY - Joseph O'Connor, Mt Maunganui College
  • BEST PASIFIKA LANGUAGE - Henele Akauola, Rotorua Intermediate
  • BEST SCHOOL - Katikati College
  • PEOPLE'S CHOICE - Desmond Mafile’o, Rotorua Boys High
  • BEST FILM - Joseph O'Connor, Mt Maunganui College 

Auckland winners 

  • 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
  • BEST DIRECTOR SENIOR – Joey Schuster – Canned Justice! – St Pauls College
  • BEST DIRECTOR JUNIOR – Tamah Falefitu – Avondale College
  • BEST ACTRESS – Perenise Lam – On Time – Mangere College
  • BEST ACTOR – Kuresa Tapula’aia – Inside the mind of an Intellectual – Mt Albert Grammar
  • BEST SOUND – Jessica Vili – Inside – Southern Cross Campus
  • BEST EDITING – Ruby Naufahu – Everything works out in the end – Epsom Girls Grammar
  • BEST DOCUMENTARY – Josh Engu – MI Musical – Manurewa Intermediate
  • BEST PASIFIKA LANGUAGE – James Fidow – Back to the family – De La Salle College
  • BEST SCHOOL – Mt Albert Grammar
  • PEOPLE’S CHOICE – Kuresa Tapula’aia from Mt Albert Grammar, Hearts Apart
  • 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