THIS PAGE IS A RESOURCE FOR FILMS AND SHORTS WE HAVE SHOWN ON OUR OCEANS FILMS SERIES NIGHTS BUT ALSO THERE ARE LINKS TO ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE THAT HAVE BEEN MENTIONED IN THE SUBJECT MATTERS COVERED IN THOSE VIDEOS. WE HOPE YOU FIND THIS HELPFUL IN REDUCING DANGEROUS NANO PLASTICS IN OUR OCEANS
SCREENING OF “VAI” DID NOT HAPPEN 3/21/20.
Celebrating International Women’s Month – A Feature Film in our Ocean Film Series
1:30 minutes VAI is a portmanteau feature film made by eight female Pacific filmmakers, filmed in as many different Pacific countries: Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Kuki Airani (Cook Islands), Samoa, Niue and Aotearoa (New Zealand). It is about the journey of Vai, played by a different indigenous actress in each of the Pacific countries. In each of these Pacific nations ‘vai’ means water.
Review excerpts from Dennis Harvey, San Francisco, May 11, 2019:
Most portmanteau features are potluck. But “Vai” has a lovely consistency of style and content that heightens the accessibility of its unique value as a combined effort among eight native female directors from eight different Pacific Island cultures. The task of each writer-helmer was to create a 10-minute vignette from a fictive woman’s life, each segment advancing a decade or so forward, deploying a single continuous shot where possible.
“Vai” doesn’t really pretend to be the story of a single character — in fact, the leading figures in these segments often have names that are variations on “Vai.” But taken together, they form a sort of composite of female experience in cultures where family separation for the sake of work or education has often been the norm, and the cultures themselves are in constant danger of being assimilated out of existence.
“From its conception through to production and now it’s NZ Premiere, ‘Vai’ aligns with the Māorilands Film Festival kaupapa which is to celebrate Indigenous creativity and storytelling in film. We are incredibly proud to have ‘Vai’ open this important and exciting film festival.”
Directors: Nicole Whippy (Fiji), ‘Ofa-Ki-Levuka Guttenbeil-Likiliki (Tonga), Matasila Freshwater (Solomon Islands), Amberley Jo Aumua (NZ Samoa), Mīria George (Cook Islands), Marina Alofagia McCartney (Samoa), Dianna Fuemana (Niue), Becs Arahanga (Aotearoa)
Language: Fijian, Tongan, Roviana (Solomon Islands) Samoan, Cook Islands Māori, Niuean, English and Māori
Synopsis of VAI on each island:
Fiji: In Nicole Whippy’s opening section, co-written with her sister Sharon, a 7-year-old Vai (Mereani Tuimatanisiga) resists having to leave Fiji with her pregnant mother, leaving a doting grandmother and all other relatives behind.
Tonga: Vai, now 13, dreams of going to NZ to sing but her day-to-day chore of filling up water bottles from the neighbourhood water tanks makes her feel as though she will never leave Tonga.
Solomon Islands: While fishing from a small canoe off the coast of the Solomon Islands, 16 year old Vae argues with her mother about the correct way to bait the fishing hook.
New Zealand Born Samoan: Having worked hard to get into university, 21 year old Vai is now a top student, and one of only two pacific islanders in her class but with her attendance waning due to pressures at home, she finds it difficult to get support from her tutor and struggles to find her voice in a system that isn’t built for her.
Kuki Airani (Cook Islands): Amidst apathy, fear and the trappings of colonialism Vai makes a stand for change on her island of Rarotonga, finding her voice as an activist.
Samoa: In her 40s now, Vai returns to Samoa to perform for an important event but, having been away for many years, Vai struggles with her connection to the performance.
Niue: Vai, now 64, tries to convince her granddaughter, Moana, that leaving the island of Niue will give her an equal start in life.
Aotearoa: An elderly Vai, 80 years old, gathers with her whānau (family) by the river’s edge to perform a naming ceremony for her great granddaughter, Vai.
Fed and state agencies team up to save right whales
PLYMOUTH – More needs to be done, so federal and state agencies are mobilizing.
While nine North Atlantic right whales have been born so far this year, at least 30 of these critically endangered mammals have died in the last three years due mostly to ship strikes and entanglements in fishing gear.
The Division of Marine fisheries issued a Large Whale Seasonal Trap Gear Closure recently that will run through April 30 to protect local populations from entanglements. Now, state and federal agencies are exploring further measures to protect right whales that teeter on the brink of extinction, with approximately 400 left in the world.
Half that population was tracked migrating into Cape Cod Bay last year, hence the fishing gear and traffic restrictions.
Whale and Dolphin Conservation North America Executive Director Regina Asmutis-Silvia said Massachusetts fishermen have been the most proactive in testing modified fishing gear to protect right whales. Their concern for the survival of right whales is a credit to them, she added.
“They are the only ones who have taken that initiative,” she said.
Experts say global warming is likely to blame for right whales migrating to Massachusetts waters for longer stretches of time to feed on phytoplankton, which isn’t just critical to sustaining whales. Whale excrement fertilizes and sustains phytoplankton that generates half the earth’s oxygen. Last year, researchers identified 265 right whales in Cape Cod Bay from December of 2018 to May of 2019.
Asmutis-Silvia noted that of the nine right whales just born, one has already been injured.
“One of the calves was seriously injured by a vessel strike, antibiotics were administered, but mom and calf have not been resighted since,” she said.
With human activity poised to wipe out the species, The Division of Marine Fisheries has scheduled two scoping meetings to discuss the state’s response to anticipated changes to the federal Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan, Asmutis-Silvia added.
In response to recent population trends, NOAA Fisheries’ Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team, or TRT, has been working to amend the NOAA Fisheries’ Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan, or ALWTRP, to reduce mortalities due to trap fishing gear. Buoys that release lines only when traps are being taken are a possible way to significantly reduce entanglements. The NOAA team involved in this research and analysis has come up with a way to reduce these entanglements by as much as 60 percent with the possible use of this new gear.
The Division of Marine Fisheries will hold two meetings to discuss anticipated changes to the ALWTRT, on Feb. 18 and 19.
“The purpose of this meeting will be to review NOAA Fisheries analyses regarding how the state can achieve this federally-imposed risk reduction target,” Asmutis-Silvia said. “Comments received will help DMF engage on federal rule making moving forward.”
OUR SHORTS ON REBUILDING THE KELP FOREST
OCTOPUS ENCOUNTERS & SUPER SEA SLUGS
AS WELL AS OUR FEATURE; SONG OF THE SPERM WHALE
CAN BE WATCHED BY SUBSCRIPTION HERE
FILMS AND INFO SHARED ON Jan. 25th, 2020
Experts from Oceana, NOAA and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership describe how chronic over fishing has damaged ecosystems and threatens the entire food chain. But this crisis is solvable. Well-managed ocean fisheries hold out the promise of limitless seafood — and a home for all sea life
SECRET UNDERWATER PLANET
Take a journey with famed underwater photographer Peter Kragh, as he explores the coast of California, and reveals some of the most spectacular life found under the sea.