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World Premiere of “The Tuiga, Part 2”

Press Release  — South Seas Pictures Ltd. invites the public to the world premiere of the new work by Samoan filmmaker Tanupo Aukuso, “The Tuiga, Part 2“ tonight at 7 p.m. at the Maliu Mai Beach Resort.

The new film is the sequel to the acclaimed film “The Tuiga” from 2011, and was filmed mostly in American Samoa featuring a cast of local actors. “I was impressed with our American Samoa cast,” said Aukuso. “Once they understand the filmmaking process and how to perform for the camera, they have a natural talent for acting.” Aukuso explained that new film, with scenes in both American Samoa and the independent State of Samoa, took approximately three months to complete, which included three weeks worth of filming here in the Territory.

“It’s difficult being a Samoan filmmaker,” Aukuso reflected. “We’re the first film company to base our operations mainly in Samoa, but it’s a pleasure to explore a uniquely Samoan way of making films”.  Aukuso’s company, South Seas Pictures Ltd., has an editing facility set up in Samoa, with additional resources in New Zealand. His dedication has paid off with several of his works, such as parts one and two of “Broken Promises”, and part one of “The Tuiga” receiving invitations for screenings at film festivals in New Zealand, Australia and the United States.

The plot of “The Tuiga Part 2” examines the challenges of maintaining Samoan traditions in modern times. Part one focused on the main character Pualemamae, the chosen taupou of her aiga and village in Samoa. Her life becomes complicated when she is first chosen to receive the traditional Samoan head dress called the tuiga as she assumes the role of a taupou, only to discover she is pregnant by her boyfriend. Part one of “The Tuiga” concluded with Pualemamae being banished from her village in Samoa and headed for American Samoa still carrying her unborn infant. Part two picks up the story of her time in American Samoa, where she faces the challenges of preparing for single parenthood while living with relatives, and, before her child is born, she receives an unexpected message from Samoa relating to her aiga.

The committee organizing this evening’s screening is made up of the cast and crew who have worked on the film, who have taken responsibility for the media coverage, food, transportation and fundraising associated with the event. “We hope members of the public will join us for this premiere because this is the first feature film to be shot in American Samoa since the original ‘Return to Paradise’ in 1953,”said cast member Salamasina Utta Figiel-Leiato, who plays a co-worker and friend of Pualemamae in the film. “It also talks about how our culture is very much alive but also challenged by changing attitudes and realities,”

Tonight’s world premiere screening of “The Tuiga Part 2” will include entertainment and an opportunity for the public to meet filmmaker Aukuso and his cast. DVD copies of the film will also be available. A $10 admission will be charged.

Everyone involved in the making of “The Tuiga, Part 2” gratefully acknowledges the invaluable support of their sponsors Maliu Mai Beach Resort, ASTCA, Inter-Island Airways, Western Union, and Samoa Shipping Corporation in American Samoa, and Monalisa Hotel and Tanu Beach Fales Manase in Samoa.