PP Picks for the Flying Fetu Festival

Our top picks of what to see at this year’s Flying Fetu Festival!

If you haven’t heard yet, there is a new writers festival in town. She goes by the name of the Flying Fetu Festival. Led by a team of Moana women Grace Iwashita-Taylor, Lana Lopesi and Amanda Wilson, the Flying Fetu Festival is dedicated to supporting writers of the Moana — in the most expansive sense of the word. Flying Fetu Festival is an offering by Flying Fetu, an organisation committed to building futures for artists of upu (word), and seeing Moana writers and writing, moving out of states of survival into states of abundance.

The inaugural Flying Fetu Festival will be held November 4–5 at Basement Theatre in Auckland and includes a packed programme. If you have seen the incredible programme and don’t know where to start or how to narrow it down, we are here to help you. While we think you can’t go wrong with any of the sessions, we have done the legwork for you and present to you our top picks for the festival.

Rolling out the Fala: 10am – 11am Basement Theatre

You may recognise him from mega film franchises such as The Matrix Reloaded and Lord of the Rings or productions closer to home such as The Legend of Baron Toʻa, where ever you know him from Nathaniel Lees legend status is undeniable. Kicking off the festival, Lees sits down with one of his mentees and Flying Fetu co-director Grace Iwashita-Taylor to roll out the fala. In addition to his acting credits, Lees has an equally impressive directorial CV. Through a decades-long dedication to Pacific stories and voices on stage and screen, Lees paved the way for generations of actors and directors after him. Yet how often do we get the chance to hear from Lees himself?

The Naughty Corner: 11am – 12pm Basement Studio

Entering into new territory, saying the things that otherwise remain unspoken, and being bold enough to speak your truth are all tendencies found in a lot of the work created by Moana artists of upu. But this kind of work can also have real world consequences, while it may be celebrated by some, in the minds of others they may be sent to the naughty corner. In The Naughty Corner, Victor Rodger talks with Tusiata Avia, Vela Manusaute and Amanaki Hope Prescott about the taboo or tapu topics of their work and how they walk that tight line in their work.

Ancestral Literatures: 4pm – 5pm Basement Theatre

Moana literature as Flying Fetu make clear throughout the festival is expansive, with histories much deeper than western literature would let us believe. This session brings together an incredible line up of creatives, mark makings, musicians and storytellers in a conversation about their own ancestral storytelling practices. Don’t miss Terje Koloamatangi, Teremoana Rapley, Daren Kamali, Amiria Puia-Taylor and Salvador Brown on stage together.

The Wrestler and the Movement Psychopomp: 5pm – 6pm Basement Studio

Michel Mulipola, the wrestler and Jahra Wasasala, the movement psychopomp together? chefs kiss We often talk about embodying the words, both Jahra and Michel engage with their narratives through their physical selves in ways that sit beyond the fringes of traditional theatre and performances spaces.

Shaking out the Fala: 7.30pm – 9.00m Basement Theatre

Who doesn’t love a closing night salon (followed by a party with a DJ!). Do not miss the Flying Fetu Festival’s closing session with a chance to hear brand new and yet to be heard work by Tusiata Avia, Vea Mafileʻo, Cia Muller, Leki Jackson Bourke, Samara Alofa, Fetūolemoana Teuila Tamapeau, Faith Wilson and Grace Iwashita-Taylor. See you there.

Buy tickets to the Flying Fetu Festival here. Festival passes are also available. Follow Flying Fetu on IG for updates.


This piece is presented as part of a partnership with Flying Fetu with support from Creative New Zealand.

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The Pantograph Punch publishes urgent and vital cultural commentary by the most exciting new voices in Aotearoa.

The Pantograph Punch publishes urgent and vital cultural commentary by the most exciting new voices in Aotearoa.

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