Samoa Beat




The message was loud and clear from acclaimed film-maker Stallone Vaoaga-Ioasa during his film-making journey presentation in front of staff and students of the National University of Samoa (N.U.S).

The only way for aspiring filmmakers to get into the competitive industry is to get out there and do it.

Mr. Stallone Vaoaga-Ioasa is a filmmaker and a lawyer.

He is the mastermind producer and Director behind the two Island themed sucesses; Three Wise Cousins and  Hibiscus & Ruthless which is currently in theatres around the world.

For both films, Vaoaga-Ioasa to fund it all himself.

"I didn't have the resources for a professional team or crew, and plus i wanted to prove that I could do the films without help. For me the key was having the people that I could rely on and are loyal" he said.

The road to film-making fame was not easy for Stallone Vaoaga-Ioasa who is from the village of Alafua.

When Three Wise Cousins was launched, he had a hard time convincing theatres to screen it.

Much like Hollywood, in order for a film to gain any traction for viewing in theatres, the demand for an audience is extremely high.

It did not stop Vaoaga-Ioasa from shooting for the stars.

One day was all it took for the producers, to prove to theatres that there is a market for Three Wise Cousins.

The producers were asked to screen the film for another week, and the rest was history, as pacific audiences turned out in the multitudes to watch the film, wherever it was screened.

And much like Hollywood, the Director and Producer had his fair share of challenges to face.

Part of which was working with other people and trying to write a script that could fit in with the actors and actress'.

To add to his excitement, on the night Three Wise Cousins was launched he had his first born.

This meant he has to balance his filmmaking career with being a family man and a lawyer.

Mr. Vaoaga-Ioasa says that Film-making is his passion, but because its a competitive industry, aspiring film-makers must find a stable job.

"If you want to be a film-maker, get a real job," he said.

Its no wonder the film Three Wise Cousins meant so much to Vaoaga-Ioasa, it was his first big project that he says "laid alot on the line".

Funding for the movie itself, came out of his pocket, and literally had to stop filming for some time in order to work again to gather some money to complete the project.

His resilience gave birth to the blockbuster that has exceeded even the his own expectations.

His last words to the students were to "Treat film-making as a sport. No regrets. And if you want something, go for it".