Private Project

Sina ma Tinirau

When a prince is cursed to become an eel and has to win the love of a beautiful woman to become human again, he gifts her with his body in the form of a coconut palm tree in a seductive display.
Set on Rotuma in Fiji, this classic tale of unconditional love is given new meaning and relevance today as it explores issues of conservation, tradition versus freedom, and prejudice against black skin among Polynesians.

  • Vilsoni Tausie Hereniko
    The Land Has Eyes
  • Vilsoni Tausie Hereniko
    The Land Has Eyes
  • Vilsoni Tausie Hereniko
    The Land Has Eyes
  • Vilsoni Tausie Hereniko
    Key Cast
    "Sina, Tinirau"
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Short
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 20 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 4, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    30,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Animation - TV Paint
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - University of Hawai'i
  • World premiere at the Hawai'i International Film Festival in November, 2021
    United States
    November 4, 2021
    World Premiere
    Nominated for Best Short in "Made in Hawaii" category.
  • Los Angeles International Film Festival/Indie Shots
    Los Angeles
    United States
    Outstanding Achievement Award (Animation Short)
Distribution Information
  • Vilsoni Hereiko
    Sales Agent
    Country: United States
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Vilsoni Tausie Hereniko

Vilsoni Hereniko was born and raised on the Polynesian island of Rotuma in Fiji for the first sixteen years of his life. The youngest of eleven children, he learned to tell stories from his father who gifted him with the oral tales of his island. Today he makes a living teaching his students how to tell indigenous stories for the screen. His first feature film titled "Pear ta Ma 'On Maf: The Land Has Eyes" was set on his home island and had its world premiere at Sundance in 2004. Seventeen years later, he tells another story set on his island about the origin of the coconut tree which his people, and many others in Oceania and other parts of the world, regard as the tree of life.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Making this film with the student animators at the University of Hawai'i and several professors is an effort to encourage faculty-student collaborations in creative endeavours. It is also to draw attention to the importance of oral traditions and to tell stories that educate, empower indigenous storytellers, as well as entertain. This is my first foray into animation and I'm excited to see how animation can retell the oral tales I grew up with in new and exciting ways that are relevant today. I look forward to telling more tales from Oceania in future.