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My Friend Michael Jones

Ian Leaupepe (Samoan), Samson Rambo (Samoan)
Aotearoa New Zealand | 2018 | 15 min | English/Samoan with English Subtitles | Short Drama | International Premiere

 Thu Oct 18 3:30 PM
TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 2

Part of Tectonic Shift

MJ’s obsessive compulsive need to avoid cracks in the pavement and finger-tap door frames makes him a target for relentless bullying by the “cool kids,” including his neighbour Selena. When MJ discovers a secret that threatens Selena’s standing within her devout Samoan family and popular school clique, the two teenagers form an unlikely bond through a shared passion for music and dance and find a friend in each other in the most unexpected way.


Ian Leaupepe attended the New Zealand Film and Television School in Wellington, since that time, Ian has directed and edited music videos for a range of South Auckland-based recording artists. My Friend Michael Jones is his first professional short film project.

Samson "Rambo" Vaotu'ua won Best Music Video at the 2018 Pacific Music Awards for Here to Stay by General Fiyah. Samson has worked as a director, camera operator and editor on broadcast content for network television platforms. My Friend Michael Jones is his first professional short film project.