The cast of the newly launched Seki a Oe movie on stage at the Lee Auditorium last week Friday. [photo: JL]

“It was hilarious, very funny and oh so awesome,” were some of the descriptions of the   newly launched Seki A Oe movie last week Friday at the Governor H. Rex Lee Auditorium, which was packed with fans, family members and supporters. This movie is a crazy Samoan love story and a hilarious comedy that was released worldwide on December 20, 2013.
Seki a Oe is collaboration between Nav-I-Pics, the territory’s only motion picture production company, and the Department of Youth and Women’s Affairs (DYWA).
“What do you get when you mix love, romance, action, adventure, intrigue, suspense and drama with a big dose of RIDICULOUS? A big mess! That's exactly what this movie is all about.”
Seki a oe is a Samoan colloquial phrase, which means "You Are Awesome."
Zena explained to Samoa News that first there's Jack, “a hopeless romantic of a guy living in a small village. Then there's Angel, a girl who is a down-to-Earth, in-the-closet-party-goer. Sparks fly and it's love at first sight for Jack when fate brings him face to face with Angel, but ultimately, she's just too preoccupied with her life to figure it out.
Enter Diana, a fiery transgender with a mind all her own—and is she the savior Jack needs to win the heart of his newfound love? What's her angle in all of this? In the end it's all about crazy people, crazy places, and crazy situations!”
During the official launching of this movie, DYWA Director Pa’u Roy Ausage said there’s so much talent in the young people here, and when he was assigned to oversee the DYWA program one of his long-term visions was to host a program in film making and acting. However, there was no funding available for a program, so he sought assistance from Zena Iese, who has a background in filmmaking.
Pa’u said he convinced Zena to help train the youth in this field and fortunately Zena took up the offer to work at no cost; he just wanted in his heart to help the young people. Pa’u said they spoke about the movie, agreeing it would be perfect to have it produced.
And, he noted, this movie is recognition of the young people regardless of gender, background or race, and it’s the recognition of their individuality that is in this movie.
He commended Zena Iese and those who worked hard to put the movie together.
Navigator Island Pictures is owned by Iese and includes five members: Raymond Tasi, Ararat Afalava, Julian Dominic Taylor-Fahey, Princess Auva’a, and Alexander Zodiacal Jr.
It features local talent, with the majority of the cast being American Samoa Community College students and young adults between 25 and 35 years old, which is also the age of the target audience.
Their first film, “Heart to Heart” which was released earlier this year in July, was indeed a milestone for the territory, as it was the first feature length film written, produced, directed and cast entirely by natives of American Samoa. The positive publicity and rave reviews from that movie resulted in Iese resigning from his teaching job at Leone High School to pursue filmmaking full time, and to get started on Seki a Oe. 


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