Toa`ipuapuagā Strength in Suffering

After a near-death experience in 2016, Toa claims to have been sent on a mission to spread the gospel and mend worldly relationships with God. She also displays stigmata similar to those associated with Christ at the crucifixion. Toa’s case unleashes a wave of controversy in Samoa’s Christian community, which is torn between faith and scepticism. In her film, Vea Mafile’o combines media footage and interviews with Toa and her family to create a personal narrative that goes beyond questions of truth to explore how Toa’s physical experience of her injuries has affected her relationships.
by Vea Mafile'o New Zealand 2018 English 10’ Colour Documentary form


Director Vea Mafile'o
Cinematography Jeremiah Tauamiti
Montage Vea Mafile'o
Sound Design Dick Reade
Executive Producer Vea Mafile'o

Produced by

Malosi Pictures

Vea Mafile'o

After taking a degree in fine art, she began working in television art departments before becoming an art director and camera operator on short and feature films. Now a television director, she continues to design and dress sets for various corporate events. In 2015, she was invited to exhibit her work as an artist at the Venice Biennale. As part of her ‘Digital Fananga’ project she has produced three short films in Tonga, one of which won the Break Through Award at the Sydney Pasifika Film Festival in 2015.


2015 'Aho'eitu; short film 2018 Toa`ipuapuagā Strength in Suffering; short film 2019 For My Father's Kingdom

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019