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A big round of applause for producer/director Anna Marbrook, whose documentary feature, Loimata, The Sweetest Tears, has won the Grand Prix du Jury at Tahiti's prestigious FIFO, (Festival International du Film Documentaire Océanien).

It's wonderful to see that in this project there's a female protagonist, a female cinematographer, three of the four producers are women and five of the seven main characters are female!

Marbrook produced Loimata, The Sweetest Tears with her filmmaker brother Jim Marbook and executive producers, the acclaimed University of Auckland academic Dr Tamasailau Suaalii-Sauni and award-winning filmmaker and WIFT member Dame Gaylene Preston. The cinematographer was another WIFT member Jess Charlton.

At the prizegiving ceremony Jury member Julia Overton, a leading figure in Australian film and television, described Loimata as "a film that was really well directed . . .  on an important subject: childhood trauma." She added: "Our congratulations to the whole team who presented this family's story with so much compassion."

In Loimata, The Sweetest Tears, Marbrook takes us with her dying friend, the extraordinary ocean-going waka captain, Lilo Ema Siope on an emotional healing journey. A finely-crafted compassionate documentary strongly tied to Ema's Samoan culture, Loimata, The Sweetest Tears is an intimate exploration of a family shattered by shame working courageously to liberate themselves from the shackles of the past.

Lilo Ema Siope image from Loimata: The Sweetest Tears.

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