UH Hilo to host award-winning Pacific film and playwright

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Date: Monday, October 19, 2009
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, 974-7642

For Immediate Release

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo hosts a screening of Toa Fraser’s award-winning film, “Naming No. 2,” on Thursday, October 22 at 2:30 pm in UCB127. The event is free and open to the public.

“Naming No. 2” is the story about family matriarch Nana Maria (played by Ruby Dee). Inspired by a dream from her childhood in Fiji, she struggles to bring her grandchildren together in Auckland, New Zealand, for a traditional Fijian feast where she plans to name her successor as matriarch. One reviewer wrote that the 95-minute film is “a big-hearted, exuberant story about what it takes to bring family together.”

The film, which Fraser wrote and directed, captured the Audience Award and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. It also took home numerous awards at the 2006 New Zealand Screen Awards and the 2006 Brisbane International Film Festival. The celebrated playwright, screenwriter and director will be on hand for the event to take part in a discussion of the film following its screening.

Fraser, a Pacific storyteller with a global perspective, is currently in residence in the Pacific Writer Residency Program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa. His latest work, “Dean Spanley,” starring legendary actor Peter O’Toole, was the big winner at the 2009 Qantas Film Festival and Television Awards in New Zealand where it walked away with seven trophies, including best feature film, best director, and best supporting actor. Fraser is currently working in Hawaiʻi on a film script entitled “The Beach at Falesa,” based on a novella by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The event is sponsored by the UH Hilo Certificate in Pacific Islands Studies, Anthropology and Geography Departments, AANAPISI Program, and the UH Manoa Center for Pacific Islands Studies. For more information or to request special accommodations, contact Jim Mellon at 933-0859 or Fiona McCormack at 974-7472.


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