Toa'ipuapuaga Strength in Suffering

Vea Mafileo | Short Documentary
New Zealand| 2018 | 10 min
North American Premiere

Friday, October 25, 2019 | 8:00pm
Shorts Program: Translations
TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 1


TD FREE Friday


In a Samoan village, a young woman appeared to not only resurrect from the dead but also afflicted by the religious phenomenon known as stigmata. She struggles with her newfound attention, her conviction of claiming to be a messenger of God, and her desire for a normal life with her family.


Vea Mafileo (Tongan,Maori) is a Film, television director and visual artist who holds a bachelor’s degree and a post-graduate diploma in Fine Arts. In 2011 she was nominated for the prestigious International Signature Art Prize (SAPB) and fulfilled a personal milestone when her video work, Monomono 2.0, was selected for an exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 2015. Her first solo exhibition, Digital Launima, debuted at Auckland’sSt Paul's Gallery in 2018. Vea has worked as a set designer and art director for numerous features and award-winning short films. She co-founded the Pasifika production company, Malosi Pictures, producing and co-directing two short films in Tonga, Digital Fananga and Aho`eitu, which won the breakthrough award at the Pasifika Film Festival in 2015. She is a co-founder of The Nuku`alofa film festival in Tonga and founder of the Okalani Film Festival in New Zealand. Her debut feature film, For My Father's Kingdom, and her short film Toa’ipuapuaga Strength has their world premiere at Berlinale 2019 and her feature won a special jury prize for International Documentary at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. She was also the recipiant of the Moana Best Pasifika Non-fiction Director at Wairua Film Festival this year. Vea is of Tongan, Maori, Scottish and English descent, and the mother of three beautiful boys.