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Academy for Creative Media professor Vilsoni Hereniko

Academy for Creative Media professor and award-winning Hawaiʻi filmmaker, Vilsoni (“Vili”) Hereniko is teaming up with Australian producer Trish Lake (Early Winter), and New Zealand producer Catherine Fitzgerald (The Orator) to coproduce Until the Dolphin Flies. Development of the motion picture begins in 2017 with production beginning in early 2018.

Hereniko entered his project, Until the Dolphin Flies, to apply for a spot in Creative Lab Hawaiʻi’s (CLH) Producers Immersive Program, which is a track for producers in all genres to develop new content for motion pictures and television. In the program, Hereniko received coaching to learn how to develop, finance, distribute and market his script. As part of CLH, Hereniko was selected as a fellow to participate in this year’s American Film Market, which allowed him to network and market his script.

“Creative Lab Hawaiʻi, especially the  producers’ immersive, provided me with a supportive one-year long program that enhanced my knowledge of the American Film Industry,” said Vilsoni Hereniko. ”I am humbled by this rare opportunity to tell an important story from the central Pacific as well as contribute to the development of the film industry in Hawaiʻi, Australia and New Zealand.”

More about Until the Dolphin Flies

Until the Dolphin Flies, is about a Marshallese man evicted from his land, who struggles to control his anger until a collision of cultural values over a wounded dolphin opens his shell of fear, and propels him to a new journey of self-discovery and healing. Based on the award-winning novel, Melal by Robert Barclay, this will be Vili’s second feature film. His first, “The Land Has Eyes,” premiered at Sundance, and screened at more than 30 film festivals around the world.

Hawaiʻi-based producer Jeannette Paulson Hereniko (The Land Has Eyes) who has been involved with the project since its inception, said “Vili and I are thrilled to partner with two amazing Australian and New Zealand producers, who have a distinguished and successful history of bringing Pacific Island narrative motion pictures to the big screen.” She will share producing duties on the motion picture with Lake and Fitzgerald.

Hereniko’s previous works

  • The Han Maneak Su in Rotuman Wedding—writer/diretor
  • Just Dancing—writer/director
  • Vaka: The Birth of a Seer—executive producer/advisor
  • Drua: The Wave of Fire—executive producer/writer/co-director
  • Moana Rua: The Rising of the Sea—executive producer/writer/director
  • Mirage—producer/writer/co-director

From a Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism news release

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