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Since the release of her award-winning first film, O Tamaiti in 1996, Sima Urale has been making films, documentaries and music videos that have brightened our lives and which frequently open our eyes to new experiences and different ways of seeing the world.
Samoan born, Urale immigrated to Aotearoa with her aiga and settled in Wellington when she was seven. Learning English and all the regulations made school a chore for Urale and it wasn’t until she was on an Access course as an 18-year-old that she discovered a passion for acting and “really learned something". Following that experience Urale went to New Zealand Drama School and then spent several years as an actor. A strong desire to tell her own stories led her to film school in Melbourne and since then she has written and directed films that speak to us from her heart.
Urale willingly shares her passion for directing – she has worked in Samoa and Fiji upskilling Pacific Islanders in directing television commercials. In 2010 she began lecturing at Unitech Film and Television School and, from 2012 to 2015, she was head tutor at Wellington’s Film and Television School.
In this excerpt from Tagata Pasifika, Urale talks about her passion for filmmaking and how she decides what films she works on. The interview was broadcast in July 2008, when her feature film Apron Strings was about to premiere and open the 40th Auckland International Film Festival.
Find out more about Sima Urale:
See E-Tangata “Sima Urale: No longer a doongy”, by Dale Husband, 28/11/1.
Read the Sima Urale biography on NZ On Screen.
Image: Screengrab from Tagata Pasifika, courtesy TVNZ.
Catalogue Reference TZP355103
Director/Reporter: Vae Mafile'o