The first Nuku’alofa Film Festival was initiated in October 2015 to show publicly and for free the 3 short movies, retelling of Tongan and Samoan myths, and a short documentary, all made locally. Free and open to all, it attracted approximately 300 viewers.

This encouraged us to make it an annual event, encouraging local film-making and storytelling, in spite of a restricted access to technical training and equipment, and sharing of other Pacific stories told on screen.
With no restriction on genre (fiction, documentary… just no music videos), theme (contemporary issues, romance, horror…) or process (video, animation, stop action…), creativity is the key element –and typically not something lacking among the Tongans.

We also seek to share stories from the Pacific region and its peoples, and stories relating to them, their cultures and challenges with the local communities, in an effort to engage and inspire our audiences.

This year, for the first time we wish to introduce a focus for one of the night: climate change and natural disasters. Cyclone Gita has deeply affected our nation earlier this year, and we wish to bring more awareness and related stories to the big screen for our people.

Any entry under 40 minutes of duration from the Pacific or Pacific diaspora, or relating to challenges faced in the Pacific region, and especially climate change and natural disasters, are welcome.


Email us for a chance to enquire about discounts and fee waivers. Let's talk!

We aim to maintain the "public and open to all" spirit, and therefore all entries must be respectful of Tongan cultural restrictions (no nudity, no intimacy, no unjustified swearing).

If the movie is not in English, subtitles must be provided -even if it is in Tongan.

If selected, entries will be shown at the main event in Nuku'alofa on 17-19 October, and could be taken to outer islands for secondary events, unless specifically forbidden by the director.

Overall Rating
  • jeremy macey

    I didn't attend but great communication from the friendly team. Good work!

    December 2018
  • Isack Hoppitt

    Unfortunately I couldn't attend, but communication was very clear and friendly. The festival's focuses are very important to the realities and needs of our Pacific Islands.

    June 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Isack! We only wish to be able to share more stories from around the ocean. Keep up the great work, and hopefully see you soon!

  • Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu

    As one of very few film festivals in the Pacific Islands, this is an amazing opportunity to screen and view films about this beautiful and culturally rich part of the world. The organizers are doing an amazing job of bringing a rich collection of short and feature films to Tonga, aptly named as the "Friendly Islands." Worth a trip!

    October 2017