PACIFIC ISLANDS SCREEN ARTISTS
Navigating Our Stories Together
Meet Our Komiti
The Komiti are the board members of PISA who run and oversee PISA activities.
Sātalo, Solāua (Sāmoa)
Nikki Si’ulepa entered the New Zealand film industry as a young nineteen year old rookie actor playing the lead role of, 'Marty' in 'Whole of the Moon' in 1995. She won two best actress awards for this role in New Zealand and Giffoni, Italy. Since then she’s worked predominantly as a writer, director, actor and camera operator in film, television and media in Aotearoa (New Zealand). Nikki worked as a reporter / director / camera operator on TVNZ’s Pacific Show, Tagata Pasifika for over a decade and her short films have won awards and screened at international film festivals including the Berlinale - Berlin International Film Festival, Tribeca, La Skins Fest, Sydney Film Festival, New Zealand International Film Festival and imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. Her love for real stories began early and has evolved into a film-making way of life. Working intensely on both sides of the camera has helped Nikki gain full appreciation for both acting and directing and has moulded her into a multi-skilled and multi-layered filmmaker.
In 2019 Nikki released a travel web series called, Not These Tourists, (which she co-shot, co-directed and co-presented), and independently distributed her first romantic comedy feature film, Same But Different: A True New Zealand Love Story, throughout selected New Zealand cinemas. SBD screened at international film festivals in New Zealand, Australia, USA, Canada and Europe and played at the New Zealand box office for over three months. Nikki wrote, directed, and is the executive producer on SBD which was self-funded and self-driven alongside Nikki’s wife and SBD producer, Rachel Aneta Wills. SBD is based on the couple’s own true life story about their early, awkward beginnings in love.
In 2020, Nikki can be seen on Canadian and New Zealand television screens in South Pacific Pictures new thriller, 'The Sounds' and she's currently writing and developing an art-house period drama feature film and episodic television series.
Nikki likes Playstation and vegan Magnum ice-cream.
Alafua, Toamua, Puipa'a (Sāmoa)
Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa is the writer and director of break out feature films, THREE WISE COUSINS (2016), HIBISCUS&RUTHLESS (2018) and TAKE HOME PAY (2019). Stallone is passionate about film-making and telling "not-often seen on the cinema screen" stories. With his debut Samoan comedy feature, Three Wise Cousins, Stallone wasn't willing to wait for conventional avenues of film-making to become available and along with his crew of friends and family, Stallone charged forward and self-funded and self-distributed the entire production from script to DVD sales! Without the large budget that feature film-making entails, Vaiaoga-Ioasa was able to deliver a unique and amazing crafted film that connected with his Samoan community and audiences here in Aotearoa (New Zealand) and around the world.
Against all expectations the film was a commercial and community success. It demonstrated the presence of a significant Pacific audience keen and willing to seek out such stories. It set a new commercial precedent that showed such a grass roots approach, separate from the industry conventions could achieve commercial success. And once again he has proven that such an approach works with his latest feature film, Take Home Pay.
Tongaleleka, Ha’apai (Tonga), Ngāti Te Wehi (Māori), English and Scottish
Vea is an Auckland based freelance film, television and media director, producer and artist who has filmed and exhibited her work extensively throughout the Pacific Islands. 2019 was a big year for Vea. Her debut feature film NZ Film Commission funded documentary, For My Father's Kingdom, world premiered at the prestigious 2019 Berlinale - Berlin International Film Festival, in which Vea and partner / co-director / cinematographer, Jeremiah Tauamiti, and Vea’s siblings and father attended. FMFK won a jury award at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and is the first ever Pacific Islands feature length documentary in the world to be directed and produced by Tongan women. Vea’s short film, 'Toa’ipuapuagā - Strength in Suffering A Samoan Stigmata’, also premiered at the 2019 Berlinale. Vea won the Moana Best Pasifika Non-Fiction Director at the 2019 Wairoa Maori Film Festival Inc. Film Festival.
Vea has worked as an art director and location camera operator / director for TVNZ’s Pacific shows, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika, and for Pacific one-stop-shop website The Coconet TV and in films MARIA, Liliu, My Friend Michael Jones, MESSiAH Short Film, Finding Honk, The Map Reader. Vea is also the founder of the Okalani Film Festival and the Nuku'alofa Film Festival NFF.
Vea is currently developing a feature documentary, short film, and dramatic feature film. Vea has also produced three sons aged ten, six and three years old, some of her best productions to date.
Falelātai, Solosolo, Pu’apu’a, Tuana’i, Faleasiu (Sāmoa)
Jeremiah Tauamiti is a Pacific screen artist who grew up in Ōtautahi (Christchurch) and holds the high chief titles Fa’alava’au and Nanai, from his father’s family and village of Falelātai, Sāmoa. Jeremiah's heart beats for Pacific stories. His feature film, For My Father's Kingdom (co-director / cinematographer), and short film Liliu had their world premieres at the 2019 Berlinale - Berlin International Film Festival. Jeremiah’s intention with Liliu, and future projects, is to share real stories from his home islands of Sāmoa and Aotearoa (New Zealand). In 2020, Liliu was officially selected in competition for the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, USA and has won awards at the Wairoa Maori Film Festival Inc., Best Short Film at Down Under Berlin Film Festival, Hawai‘i International Film Festival, Best Narrative short film at FIFO Tahiti, and a nomination for Best Actor for star Ana Tuisila at the 2019 New Zealand International Film Festival.
Jeremiah has written, directed and camera operated for television shows, Tagata Pasifika, Target, Kowhao Rau, Fresh, and Pacific one-stop-shop website, The Coconet TV. Jeremiah directed short film, MARIA which screened at international film festivals and won the inaugural PBS online film festival audience favourite award from over one million voters around the world. Jeremiah is one of the ‘Goodfellas’, a veteran team of Pacific filmmakers in the V 48 Hour Film Festival. Goodfellas were chosen a record six times by Sir Peter Jackson for the national ‘Wild Card’ finalists. Jeremiah was nominated for the 48 Hour Film Festival’s 'Best Actor' category three times, winning twice.
In 2019, Jeremiah was identified as one of New Zealand and Australia's up and coming directors at the Melbourne International Film Festival Accelerator Lab. Jeremiah was also selected for Script to Screen Film Up programme to develop his debut feature film drama, Garden City Nights, which is a story inspired by true events about Jeremiah’s own family growing up Christchurch in the 1990s during a time of neo-nazi skinhead uprising.
Jeremiah’s final ‘death row’ meal would be a plate of sapasui (chop suey) and rice, two pieces of KFC, raw fish, corned beef keleve, and BBQ sausages.
Abba-Rose Dinah Vaiaoga-Ioasa
Alafua, Toamua, Puipa’a (Sāmoa)
Abba-Rose Dinah began her career by following her love for science and worked in the engineering industry as a process engineer gaining a lot of valuable project management experience. During this time she also worked on hit feature film, 'Three Wise Cousins' as an associate producer. In 2018 her brother, writer & director, Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa approached Abba-Rose to produce his second feature film, 'Hibiscus & Ruthless'. Abba-Rose jumped at the opportunity, excited to take on a new challenge.
Abba-Rose has only been in the screen industry for just over three years but has already produced and associate produced four feature films; Three Wise Cousins (2016), Hibiscus & Ruthless (2018), Same But Different: A True New Zealand Love Story (2018), and Take Home Pay (2019).
She is currently developing more screen content, building her knowledge of the screen industry, and developing her skills as a professional content producer.
Lauli'i, Faleapuna, Safune (Sāmoa)
Claire Patolo is an emerging writer and director. After spending her years after high school studying and working in the IT industry, Claire decided to go back to university and study something she has always been passionate about, Film. Currently completing her Masters in Communications at AUT, Claire is also working on writing her first short film and developing her skills as a director. She grew up in a big Samoan family and has been immersed in her culture since she was born. She is a huge fan of fantasy & sci-fi films and hopes to one day direct her own fantasy or sci-fi film that features Pasifika people both in front of the screen and behind.
She is humbled and excited to join the PISA Komiti and although reluctant and nervous when she was approached due to her inexperience, she is ultimately grateful for the opportunity to give back to PISA in any way she can. Claire is looking forward to working with the uber talented filmmakers on the PISA Komiti and continuing the amazing galuega that PISA are doing for Pasifika creatives.
Safune, Safotu (Sāmoa)
David Fa'auliuli Mamea is a scriptwriter who has worked on screen, radio and theatre projects in genres ranging from sci-fi animation to kitchen sink drama, and a whole lot in between. He is a Co-President of Puni Taatuhi o Aotearoa New Zealand Writers Guild, and a trustee of Banana Boat, a loose collective of Pasifika and Māori creatives. He has won the Adam Award for Best New Zealand Play, a New Zealand Writers Guild SWANZ Award for Best Play, and a New Zealand Radio Award for Best Dramatic Production. A Wellingtonian at heart, he and his Lovely Wife live in Te Tai Tokerau with their dogs, cat, ponies, chickens, kunekune pigs and sheep.
Falelatai, Faleasi’u, Saleaula (Sāmoa)
Matilda Poasa is a New Zealand-born Sāmoan from the villages of Falelatai, Faleasi’u and Saleaula. She graduated in 2018 from Auckland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Māori Development in Māori Media. After graduating she moved to Los Angeles to complete a three-month internship with the Indigenous Program at the Sundance Institute. After her three-month internship, Matilda was hired as the Indigenous Program Assistant. In July of 2021, Matilda was one of six filmmakers selected to receive a Script to Screen scholarship to take part in UCLA’s 10-week online training course Writing Screenplay Coverage.
She currently works as a producer for Māoriland Productions; Over the last two years, she has co-produced eight professional rangatahi short films for Ngā Pakiaka Incubator Programme. As a storyteller, Matilda is motivated by her people and community and desires to see more Māori & Pasifika stories being told unapologetically by the people to whom they belong.
Safune, Falelatai, Apia, Faleasi'u, Manono (Sāmoa)
Nora Aati is a Actor, Voice Over Artist, Emerging Writer & Director. She graduated from UNITEC School of Performing and Screen Arts in 2006, majoring in Acting. She is a new Samoan writer that has forged her scriptwriting craft through the lack of roles available to her as a Samoan actress. Her first short film that she wrote and will star in is fully funded and scheduled to be filmed in May 2023. She has just finished working as an actress on the 2023 season of TVNZ’s Brokenwood Mysteries, was selected for Script to Screen South Shorts ’21 and was part of the talented Moana Pasifika Women Screenwriters Programme ‘22 with WIFT. Through her screenwriting, she has discovered a hidden talent and a passion for bringing more Pacific stories and characters to the screens across the world. Strengthening and supporting Pacific Islands Screen Artists is of high importance to Nora, she values being a member of PISA and is humbled and thrilled to bring what she can to the Komiti.