WIFT NZ member's success at Hot Docs

Posted Tuesday 09 May 2023

WIFT NZ member's success at Hot Docs

Exciting news for producer Marilyn McFadyen, whose documentary, titled I of the Water, was one of 20 documentaries presented at the recent Hot Docs’ marquee market event, the Forum. Variety.com reports that I of the Water has won the First Look first prize of CAD$50,000 (NZ$59,000)!

Directed by Kimberlee Bassford, the feature documentary focuses on acclaimed Samoan writer Sia Figiel. After a painful experience pushes Figiel into self-exile, she untangles her complicated past, revealing hidden trauma and initiating a journey toward healing. Bassford produces alongside McFadyen, as do Vilsoni Hereniko, Leanne K. Ferrer, Cheryl Hirasa, and Linda Goldstein Knowlton.

McFadyen, who has been involved since meeting Bassford in September 2021, says the film is at the rough cut stage. Bassford and Figiel have been working on a creative revision of the cut, reflecting Sia's use of the storytelling traditions of Samoa to weave together experiences and dreams. Bassford will be in Auckland from January to June next year completing some local shoots, and she hopes to finish the film while there.

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Image: Hot Docs