The fifth annual Siapo Cinema: Oceania Film Festival returns to Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision in 2018, showcasing the vibrant stories of the Pacific on film. Join us for a range of pacific features, short films and unique events including a special evening celebrating the achievements of award-winning actor, director, writer and producer, Nathaniel Lees.

Siapo Cinema: Oceania Film Festival runs from Friday, October 12 until Saturday, October 20. Follow the hashtag #siapocinema2018 on social media and keep up with the latest happening in the festival by clicking ‘interested’ on our Siapo Cinema Facebook Event.

Hibiscus and Ruthless

From the writer of 2016’s Three Wise Cousins comes a female-led comedy about friendship, loyalty and love. Hibiscus is in her final year of university. She promises her mother “no going out and no boyfriends” – and enlists her friend Ruth to manage the flow of guys trying to impress her.

Siapo Cinema Shorts

This year’s Siapo Cinema Shorts programme brings together a diverse selection of short dramas and documentaries. From airport cleaners to wrestlers, these five, 15-minute films offer something for everyone!

Pacific Dance On Screen

From Māori mythology to Macklemore, Rarotongan weddings to Janelle Monae, Siapo Cinema is honoured to present this compilation of 9 dance films, curated by Directors Iosefa Enari of Pacific Dance NZ and Craig Fasi from Pollywood.

Marks of Mana

The Aotearoa New Zealand premiere of Marks of Mana by Lisa Taouma is the first feature film dedicated to the practise of female tatau (tattoo) in the Pacific. It looks at the sacred symbols of our past and what they meant, and how they live on through the hands of female tatau artists today.


Despite the on-going influence of outside forces and western frameworks of religion and thought, Polynesia has held fast (if sometimes tenuously) to indigenous beliefs around gender and sexuality. Come along and join the discussion with local artists.

Leitis in Waiting

This is the story of Joey Mataele and the Tonga leitis, an intrepid group of transgender women fighting a rising tide of religious fundamentalism and intolerance in their South Pacific kingdom. It follows Joey, a devout Catholic of noble descent, as she organizes an exuberant beauty pageant and spars with American-financed evangelicals threatening to resurrect colonial-era laws that criminalize the leitis’ lives.

The New Oceania

Samoan-born Albert Wendt is a leading South Pacific novelist, poet and dramatist. This documentary, filmed throughout the Pacific in 2006, is an engaging portrait of the man and the Pacific artists he has inspired.

A Special Evening in with Nathaniel Lees

Join us as we honour Maiava Nathaniel Lees for his outstanding contribution to theatre and film. From The Matrix, to Power Rangers, Mortal Engines and Sione’s Wedding, Nat Lees is a well-known, award-winning actor, director, writer and producer.

Moana Reo Māori

We are delighted to be working with Matewa Productions and Disney Studios to present Moana Reo Māori these October school holidays. So that the whole whānau can enjoy the movie together (and to cater for adult Te Reo learners) we’ve added two evening screenings to the usual school holiday daytime screening times.