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The Cast

SAPETA TAITO – playing Viki

Sapeta Sokag‘aitu Taito was born in Suva, Fiji in 1986. A month old, Taito and her parents moved back to their home village of Malhaha in Rotuma. There she was raised alongside her two younger brothers, and became an honors student. When schooling opportunities in Rotuma ended, she traveled back to Suva to complete her secondary schooling at Lelean Memorial School. She is currently on ‘summer break’ in Fiji, waiting to be admitted to the University of the South Pacific where she hopes to continue her studies and eventually become a surgeon. Having never been inside a real movie theatre and with no previous acting experience, Taito, at the age of 15, auditioned and won the lead role as Viki in The Land Has Eyes. Her trip to the United States to attend the film’s world premiere at Sundance is her first experience outside Fiji.

RENA OWEN – featured as The Warrior Woman

Rena Owen has appeared in films such as What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted?, I'll Make You Happy and When Love Comes Along. Her role of Rix in Dance To My Song earned her multiple Australian film award nominations for Best Supporting Actress, while her role of Beth Heke in Once Were Warriors has garnered numerous international film festival awards for Best Actress in Portugal, France, Canada and the U.S. In 1997 Owen also played the lead actress in Vilsoni Hereniko’s critically acclaimed play Fine Dancing. In addition to acting, Owen is a writer, director and producer.

JOHN FATIAKI Playing Poto, the court interpreter  

For the first six years of his life John Fatiaki was raised in Rotuma by his grandparents, where his grandfather owned the one and only movie theater on the island. At the age of six, John moved to Suva to live with his biological parents, and it is here that he learned English. His father, an educator , assigned each of his six sons an occupation to achieve at the age of twelve. John Fatiaki was told to be a medical doctor, and he never looked back. But when his former Rotuman mate at the University of South Pacific, Vilsoni Hereniko, invited him to play the role of the villain, Poto, who was a court interpreter in Rotuma, he did not hesitate. Not only did he think it would be great fun, but he had volunteered as a court interpreter in Rotuma in the late 80’s, so he thought he could bring some experience to the role.

VOI FESAITU - Playing Hapati, Viki's father

Voi Feseaitu was born and raised on Rotuma. As a youth he went to sea as a sailor on a tanker, serving for three years before returning to Rotuma, where he married and settled down. In addition to cutting copra to earn money, he worked for the Rotuma Cooperative Association as a storekeeper and stock controller. In 1998 he started his own chicken farm and supplies eggs to most of the stores on the island. Voi appeared in The han maneak su in a Rotuman wedding, a seventeen-minute documentary filmed by Vilsoni Hereniko in 1989.

ELIZABETH KAFONIKA INIA - playing Mata, the ritual clown

Elizabeth Kafonika Inia was the first Rotuman woman to be educated as a teacher. Director Vilsoni Hereniko was her student when he was a growing up on Rotuma. Now retired, Mrs. Inia is an esteemed elder, deeply concerned with preserving her island's culture and with passing on to future generations of Rotumans the knowledge she has acquired from her forebears. She is the author of Kato‘aga: Rotuman Ceremonies and Fäeag ‘es Fuaga: Rotuman Proverbs, and is co-author of A New Rotuman Dictionary.

JAMES DAVENPORT - playing Clarke, the magistrate who presides at the trial

James Davenport was born and raised in Kailua, Hawai‘i and has performed both nationally and internationally on stage and in film. His film credits include Megan Hill is Missing, which premiered at the 2003 Hawai‘i International Film Festival, CBS’s Tour of Duty and NBC’s True Detectives. On stage Davenport has worked with Seattle Repertory Theatre, ACT in Seattle, Theatre Works in San Francisco, and Honolulu Theatre for Youth.