Tongan Story Makes Waves at Sundance Film Festival

Posted on 26 January 2024

The short film "Lea Tupu'anga" by two Tongan-New Zealand filmmakers has made a significant impact at the Sundance Film Festival, one of the world's biggest film festivals. Chosen from a pool of 17,000 applications, the film explores the challenges faced by the Tongan community in preserving their language and cultural identity. Depicting personal stories and struggles, the film moved audiences to tears during its screening.
Pacific films are a rarity, particularly in the United States, with only two featured at Sundance, the other being Hawaiian. Mafile'o, one of the film directors, expresses excitement about how this film can potentially highlight a space where the Pacific community belongs. She hopes for more Pasifika individuals to join the film industry.


tonga culture pacific