Pacific feature documentary For My Father’s Kingdom to premiere in Auckland

The first Pacific documentary feature film funded by the New Zealand Film Commission - For My Father’s Kingdom will premiere at the New Zealand International Film Festival on Tuesday 30th of July in Auckland and 6 August in Porirua.

The nationwide general release is set for August 22nd.

Directed by Tongan filmmaker Vea Mafile’o (Tongoleleka, Ha’apai)  and Samoan Nanai Jeremiah Tauamiti (Falelātai, Tuana’i), For My Father’s Kingdom recounts the life of Vea’s father - Tongan pensioner Saia Mafile’o. 

Throughout the life of Saia Mafile’o – a dad, a grandfather, a husband and a son – Aotearoa has given many fortunes and taken them away. But nothing has changed Saia’s resounding faith in the church and his absolute love for his country – Tonga. Through creative ways to make money for the church, Saia is content knowing that what he gives reserves his place in heaven.

Having grown up straddling two worlds, Saia’s adult children struggle to understand their father’s unmovable Tongan ways of life – that is, until a trip to Tonga. A proud ex-head prefect of the prestigious Tupou College, Toloa, Saia takes them with him to a school reunion which sees tradition, faith and feasting come into full view.

A loving portrait of a father told from the perspective of his children, For My Father’s Kingdom, having had it’s World Premiere at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year, now returns home to audiences who know this experience intimately. In trying to understand her father, directors Vea Mafile’o and Jeremiah Tauamiti capture a moving story about generational difference, resilience and unconditional love. 

Lead Director Vea Mafile’o says her debut feature documentary is a universal story that everyone can identify with. 

“The heart of this film has always been about a father and his goal of being there for his family… Vea’s father tried to do what we all try to do as parents; and what we all want as children – to love or be loved with no barriers.” — Vea Mafile’o & Jeremiah Tauamiti

The official trailer was released last Friday and has already had 106,000 views and shared 2100 times over the week.

For My Father’s Kingdom was funded by the New Zealand Film Commission and is distributed by Rialto Distribution.


 Photo NZ Film Commission