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Hawai’i hosts U.S. premiere of new American Samoa film

'Fatu O Le Alofa' premiere set for Wednesday at Weinberg Hall

Honolulu, HAWAI'I — Fatu O Le Alofa, a new Samoan language film, premieres in Hawai'i and the U.S., Wednesday July 24, kicking off a series of state-by-state showings of the first motion picture written, cast and filmed in the U.S. territory of American Samoa.

The Hawai’i premiere (titled Heart-to-Heart for English audiences) will be held at the 400-capacity Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Hall at the Ke’ehi Lagoon Memorial on Nimitz Highway.

The goal for the film’s Hawai’i premiere is “to gain recognition with our closest neighbor that American Samoa is getting into the business of bringing stories to life on camera and that we're going all out!,” Hawai'i-born, first time film director Zena Iese told tautalatala.com.

More than 600 people including government, community and church leaders, viewed the one hour, 40-minute movie at its world premiere July 6, 2013 at the Gov. H. Rex Lee Audiorium in Utulei. A second showing the same night drew more than 500 people.

Written by Mareta Purcell Unutoa, this is the first full-length feature film to come out of American Samoa.

Iese, from Aiea, left Hawai’i and moved with his family to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland when he was about five. His father, a native of Amanave village on Tutuila island, was a member of the Air Force One crew, from the end of the Richard Nixon administration and during the administrations of Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Regan and George H. W. Bush. After graduate school in California, Iese moved to American Samoa.

Fatu O Le Alofa, the director explains, conveys to the world, that Samoans “as a people prize and cherish our relationships with one another.”



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