How important is it to bring a Pasifika perspective to what you do?
The world is moving at such a fast pace that now almost anything and everything goes, especially in the film industry. Cultural and gender diversity in film only became a huge deal a couple years ago because people actually started saying something about it and I’m glad that it is making changes, it’s nice to see different cultures and ethnicities represented on and off the screen. It’s great and really encouraging for a small people group! But at the same time, now that I’m actually a part of this world I don’t really know how great it really is. Will my films be judged on how good my work was or is it because i am the perfect candidate to represent the minority? A young single, polynesian/european female?
I joke about it a lot with the other staff members, to have me as the face of their films so that we have more chances of being accepted and winning at festivals. Not saying that I’m ungrateful for the changes this world is fighting for, but I don’t want to have my career handed to me just because of what I am. Growing up in Samoa I was always reminded that good things really do come to those who work hard and my parents were the perfect example of that. They moved to Samoa with little to no money, not knowing what to do. So they started making soaps in our kitchen. They had no idea where it was going to take them but they kept on going and eventually after 7 years of tries and fails we finally established our business. And I’m so proud of them for that, and I’m glad I grew up in that environment. That if you want something, work hard until it happens. And with that I want to show my Pacific pride through hard work and not have it handed to me.