Update (The Healer and the Psychiatrist)

25 01 2014

It’s been a long time since I last posted on this blog. I’ve been working hard to process and start to edit some of the material for the latest documentary on Tonga, which focuses on the healer, Emeline Lolohea,  the psychiatrist, Dr Mapa Puloka, and my relationship with both. 

I’ve been really excited to see the success of Tongan Ark in film festivals worldwide. Every time I see it I get something more from it, and remember even more how remarkable Futa Helu was, how special Atenisi was and is, and how it needs our support. 

My most recent productions have focussed on things very close to home, the community of Angsbacka in Sweden and the dance form of contact improvisation. I needed to ground myself in Europe in my filmmaking and improve my skills in editing and storytelling before I could turn back to my love of Tonga and my research there over the last 15 years. 

So as soon as Five Ways is finished, then I’m planning to dedicate myself to finishing ‘The Healer and the Psychiatrist’. I look forward to it.  

Comedy is Translation

21 02 2012

A great TED talk that relates really strongly to the power of comedy in Tonga.

Tongan Language Week Screening at Unitec with ‘My Lost Kainga’

13 09 2011

A big thank you to Malia Talakia for organising a twin screening of ‘Fun(d)raising’ and ‘My Lost Kainga’ at UNITEC on the 6th September as part of the inaugural Tongan Language Week.

Read press announcement here and here.

Learn more about Tongan Language Week here.

‘My Lost Kainga’-New Tongan Feature Film

14 04 2011

A new Tongan feature film received it’s premiere this week in Auckland. See coverage of the film here on Tagata Pasifika.

Public Lecture and Film Showing at USP, 15 Sept 2009

27 09 2009

The Public Lecture on Social Filmmaking in Tonga was a great success. The lecture theatre at USP was full. Fun(d)raising was shown half way through the lecture and afterwards many people asked questions and offered their own testimonies of filmmaking. The lecture and film were recorded by TMN and a half hour version was shown on their channel the following evening. 

For a copy of the lecture please email me at mikepoltorak@hotmail.com

Tongan Comedy @ MAU Theatre, Friday 21 August, 4.30pm

18 08 2009

Fun(d)raising will receive its first NZ premier at an informal gathering at the MAU theatre this Friday, a great venue that celebrates Pacific performance and has hosted the Laughing Samoans and a tribute to Epeli Hau’ofa. http://www.mau.co.nz/contact.php

I very much thank Hufanga Dr ‘Okusitino Mahina and Albert Refiti for organising this opportunity.

Return to Tonga-August 2009

10 08 2009

I’m very happy to say that I’m coming back to New Zealand and Tonga next week and staying till mid September. I’ll be looking for venues to show Fun(d)raising as a tribute to Siua Tutone and looking into developing a documentary on the subject of comedy, diabetes and health promotion. Any suggestions welcome. It is a sad time to return with the tragic ferry accident in the international news.


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