Ma is a story about a Samoan grandmother trying to survive her worst fear – being alone.
After emigrating from tropical Samoa in the 1950's to an unknown life in New Zealand, Ma is now the matriarch of her large Samoan family. Her husband has passed on and her seven children are all grown up with lives and families of their own, rarely seeing her. Ma lives alone in a large, old cluttered house filled with second-hand ornaments, collectibles and a new substitute family of soft toys that sit in her sitting room on the couch, leaving no room for visitors.
Ma’s Sunday begins like any other with a visit to Church. Ma's approached by the church Bishop with accusations of coercing an elderly women's group to a nightclub. Ma leaves the Bishop in disbelief, proudly revealing that they had a wonderful time and they all still believe in God.
When she arrives home Ma notices that one of her precious soft toys is missing. Infuriated, Ma does some quick detective work on the phone before heading out for church. Along the way she experiences a rude, inappropriate driver who she follows and stealthily confronts in a local car park, teaching him a lesson that he'll never forget.
Ma is no ordinary grandmother. She's strong-willed, opinionated and can take on the toughest, and usually does. But under the rock hard exterior is an old woman trying to endure what's left of her existence and reclaim the feeling of control that she once had in her younger years; the feeling of being needed.
Ma is a story about one woman's strength, weakness, love and humanity in a world that has almost forgotten her.
Nikki Siʻulepa - Director/Writer
Nikki has worked in the New Zealand Film and Television industry since 1995 both in front of and behind the camera. She first fell into acting by association straight after high school, landing a lead role in New Zealand/Canadian feature film, “The Whole of the Moon”. The rookie won two best actress awards for her portrayal of “Marty”, a rebellious street kid with cancer who finds love in a hospital. In 2012 Nikki was in front of the camera in kiwi thriller feature, Housebound, and on TV3's award winning comedy series, Super City.
Nikki shot a documentary in Rapa Nui (Easter Island) for TVNZ's indigenous Māori language programme, Waka Huia which screened at the 2014 FIFO in Tahiti. It was here that Nikki won the 2014 FIFO Oceania Pitch for her own feature documentary, Taku Ipukarea-My Homeland about Cook Islands environmentalist Ruta June Hosking and her work in the remote island of Ma'uke. Nikki was one of ten teams from Australia, NZ, France, Tahiti and Rapa Nui. Nikki began filming, Taku Ipukarea-My Homeland in July 2014.
Nikki is currently writing a feature and various short film screenplays and producing a travel series that she shot and presented in North, Central and South America.
Ngaire Fuata - Executive Producer
Ngaire has been in the television industry for over 25 years and has a wealth of experience in production. Starting in the Maori & Pacific Programmes Department at TVNZ in the late ‘80s working with the late Ernie Leonard and Whai Ngata she worked on productions from 1988 Telethon, 1990 Commonwealth Games right through to presenting on shows like Tagata Pasifika, Town and Country, NZ Living and going on to production work with Tagata Pasifika.
Ngaire was again in the spotlight when the camera followed her on her maiden voyage to her father's homeland in the documentary, Salat se Rotuma - Passage to Rotuma. This moving story about cultural identity was a personal and professional highlight for Ngaire.
Ngaire's love for film has led her to Associate Produce, Snow in Paradise - a New Zealand Film Commission funded short film which world premiered at the 62nd Berlinale Film Festival. Ngaire attended the event with Writer / Director, Nikki Si'ulepa in 2012. SIP went on to win Best Short Film at the 2013 Festival International du Film d'Environnement (FIFE) in Paris, France. Ngaire is the Executive Producer and Producer on, Ma.