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DEGANZ Incubator alumna Marina Alofagia McCartney has received funding for her project The Return. The short film follows Lupesina who answers the call from her ancestors, and must prove her worthiness as a Samoan woman or stay stuck in the in-between.

Congratulations, Marina! She is the first woman writer/director of Moana Pasifika heritage to secure Catalyst funding in over a decade and the majority of the creative HOD’s on The Return are of Moana Pasifika descent too.

Catalyst He Kauahi supports NZ filmmakers to progress their talents to the next stage and make exceptional, high end narrative short films. The NZFC have funded three teams a total of $100,000 each ($90,000 towards their short film and $10,000 towards development of the feature film concept). Marina’s team are currently developing a feature that will continue the poetic character exploration of a NZ-born Samoan woman’s identity journey.

Liliu has officially been selected to screen at the Tribeca Film Festival this year. Edited by DEGNZ member Peter Roberts, Liliu follows a young court interpreter (Vito Vito) who risks everything to help Nua (Ana Tuisila), a wrongfully imprisoned chief.

Filmed in Samoa, the short film was written and directed by Jeremiah Tauamiti (My Father’s Kingdom) who is of Samoan descent. Originally released in 2018, Liliu has won awards such as Best Narrative Short Film at the FIFO Festival held in Tahiti.

The film will screen on June 20.