Vilsoni Hereniko

  • Vilsoni Hereniko
© Vilsoni Hereniko
Film director, Writer, Screenwriter
Column : Literature

Vilsoni Hereniko (born October 13, 1954) is a Fiji Islander playwright, film director and academic. He was the writer and director of Fiji's first ever (and so far only) feature film, The Land Has Eyes (Pear ta ma 'on maf).

Hereniko is a Rotuman, born in Mea village, Hapmak, Itu'ti'u District, Rotuma, Fiji. He was schooled in his native Rotuma, obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of the South Pacific in 1997, a Masters degree in Education at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and, in 1991, a PhD in literature and language at the University of the South Pacific. He is now a professor at the University of Hawai'i's Center for Pacific Islands Studies, where he teaches literature, theatre and film.

From 2008-July 2010 Hereniko was the Director of the Center for Pacific Islands at the School of Pacific and Asian Studies at UHManoa.  From August 2010-July 2012 he was the Director of the Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies at USP.
Hereniko is a playwright and stage director and seven of his plays have been produced and published. As a screenwriter, film director or producer, he has written and directed or produced five films, including a narrative feature, "The Land Has Eyes", set on his homeland, Rotuma.

"Land" premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and has been shown at over 20 international film festivals, including Rotterdam, Montreal, Brisbane, Shanghai, Singapore and Moscow. Winner of several awards, including "Best Dramatic Feature" at the 2004 Toronto Imaginative Film and Media Arts Festival, "Land" was also Fiji's official entry (2005) for the Academy Awards in the Foreign Language Film category. In addition, Hereniko has served on the film selection committee for the Hawai`i International Film Festival as well as a jury member for several international film and theatre festivals.

Hereniko was the editor of the award-winning journal "The Contemporary Pacific" from 2002-2008. He has also authored or edited academic books or articles on Oceanic literature, film, art, culture, and the politics of representation.
He published his first plays in the mid-1970s, including Don't Cry Mama, A Child For Iva, Sera's Choice and The Monster. In 1997 he received the Elliott Cades Writing Award for his overall contributions to literature.

List of books published :
    •    Two Plays, 1987, ISBN 982-02-0015-6
    •    The monster and other plays, 1989, ISBN 982-02-0028-8
    •    The wicked cat, 1991, ISBN 982-01-0073-9
    •    Last virgin in paradise: A serious comedy, 1993, ISBN 982-02-0084-9
    •    Woven Gods: Female Clowns and Power in Rotuma, 1995, ISBN 0-8248-1655-2
    •    Sina & Tinilau, 1997 (children's book), ISBN 982-02-0127-6
    •    Inside Out: Literature, Cultural Politics, and Identity in the New Pacific, 1999 (as co-editor), ISBN 0-8476-9142-X

Partners

  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • PACIFIC ARTS ALLIANCE
  • FURTHER ARTS
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

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