Loimata: The Sweetest Tears
Ocean-going waka captain Lilo Ema Siope is dying. She takes her family on a courageous healing journey, liberating them all from the shame in their New Zealand past and back in their homeland Sāmoa.
- Anna Marbrook
- Full-Length Film
- Subject Matter
- Featured In
In LOIMATA, The Sweetest Tears, director Anna Marbrook takes us with her friend, the extraordinary ocean-going waka captain, Lilo Ema Siope on an emotional healing journey in the last months of her life. A finely-crafted compassionate documentary strongly tied to Ema’s Samoan culture, LOIMATA, The Sweetest Tears is an intimate exploration of a family shattered by shame working courageously to liberate themselves from the shackles of the past. A journey of courage, tears, laughter and above all, unconditional love.
ANNA MARBROOK DIRECTOR/PRODUCER
Anna has a directing career spanning nearly 30 years and has directed extensively across the Pacific. Her work connects media with social change and activates communities in both process and presentation. She has forged a highly collaborative approach to story and has partnered with key community leaders to develop rich storytelling projects. She created and series directed the 10-part Waka Warriors and co-directed the feature documentary Te Mana o Te Moana, the Pacific Voyagers, winner of a silver world medal at the New York Film and TV awards. She created and series-directed Real Pasifik Season 1 and 2 for TVNZ – both finalists in the New York Film and TV awards.
In 2018 Anna created Waka Odyssey with Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr and Kasia Pol and directed the NZ Festival Opening , drawing a live audience of 20,000 and 200,000 online viewers of the live feed. 50,000 visitors participated in the event over its nine-day duration. In March 2019 this event won best Arts or Cultural Event 2018 at the National Events Awards and was nominated for a Wellington City Award.
For TV3’s Inside New Zealand she wrote and directed the one-hour documentary A Little Love Story. With Scottie Productions she directed Te Araroa Tales From The Trails, which was a finalist in the NZ Film and TV awards 2018. Anna directed over 150 episodes of serial drama Shortland Street. She co-produced short film Jumbo (Auckland, Melbourne and Clairmont Ferrand festivals) and co-directed short film The Rules of Dogs and Men with her brother Jim Marbrook. In theatre, Anna co-founded Theatre at Large, devising and directing both new work and classics including King Lear starring Ian Mune, Rachel House and Miranda Harcourt; Manawa Taua/Savage Hearts with Cliff Curtis and Rachel House; Cyrano de Bergerac with Cameron Rhodes and Jacob Rajan. These works toured New Zealand and international festivals.
JIM MARBROOK PRODUCER
Jim is a director and producer. His films include feature-length documentaries and dramas. He has wide experience in films that concern social justice, health and the environment. His last documentary Cap Bocage (2014) garnered three nominations for the New Zealand Film Awards. His documentary on psychiatric care, Mental Notes (2012), played played in cinemas nationally, receiving critical acclaim. Ko Whanganui te Awa (2006) was commissioned for Māori Television and Dark Horse (2003) won the Doc Edge Best feature documentary award in 2015. He was co-producer of the multi award-winning The Dark Horse feature film starring Cliff Curtis that was inspired by his original documentary. His short dramas include the award-winning NZFC short Jumbo and The Rules of Dogs and Men (co-directed and co-produced with Anna Marbrook).
Jim is Senior Lecturer in the School of Communication Studies at AUT.
DR TAMASAILAU SUALII-SAUNI EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Tamasailau Suaalii-Sauni is a Samoan academic in sociology/criminology at the School of Social Sciences, University of Auckland. Her academic work draws on and contributes to the building of Pacific indigenous knowledges, especially Samoan. She specialises in Pacific jurisprudence theory and is currently engaged in indigenous criminological research.
Among a long list of associations, Tamasailau is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Samoan Studies at the National University of Samoa and the Otago International Health Research Network. She has also held honorary and part-time senior researcher and programme evaluator roles in the state and private sector: mainly with the Waitemata District Health Board's Clinical Research and Resource Centre (2003-2008), and with (as co-director) Pacific Research and Development Services Ltd (1998-2003). Books published include Whispers and Vanities- Samoan Indigenous Knowledge and religion. And Su’esu’e Manogi in search of fragrance.
DAME GAYLENE PRESTON EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Dame Gaylene Preston DNZM, is a national treasure, with an exceptional career over more than three decades. An innovative writer, director and producer, she has insisted that it is possible to live in New Zealand and contribute New Zealand stories to global cinema and her award-winning works have screened at most key international film festivals, including Venice, Sundance, Toronto and Cannes Cinema Des Antipodes, and extensively at New Zealand International Film Festivals. Her generosity of spirit and her powerful mentorship and advocacy skills have been central to the development of New Zealand’s contemporary filmmaking community.
Many of her films are New Zealand classics including Mr Wrong, Ruby and Rata, Bread & Roses, War Stories Our Mothers Never Told Us, Perfect Strangers, Lovely Rita, Home By Christmas and My Year With Helen.