From a Geordie Father, Samoan Mother and Cook Islands step-Mother, Marina is powerfully aware of her cultural heritage, how this affects the way we are viewed and how we view others. She holds an MA in Screen Production (First Class Honours) and is an award- winning filmmaker and teaching fellow at Pacific Studies, University of Auckland. Her academic areas of expertise are Pacific Studies, Pacific Filmmaking, Pacific representation on screen and representations of the Pacific woman.

“One of the most enduring images used to promote Oceania is that of the “Dusky Maiden”. Yet our histories reveal a different reality to this construction. Vai presents an opportunity to visually explore a different Oceanic woman; a much-needed representation that counters the historical and current imagined construction.”

-Marina Alofagia McCartney