Leitis In Waiting
"...a true gift to the world —mesmerising and unflinching"
— Jeannette Hereniko, President, Network for the Promotion of Asian Pacific Cinema
FREE SESSION, BOOKINGS REQUIRED
DATE: 09 Mar 2019
TIME: 1:30 pm
LOCATION: New Farm Cinemas
Language English, Tongan with English subtitles
Director Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson, Kumu Hina Wong-Kalu
Run Time 72min
Awards & Screenings
Frameline 2018, Outfest Film Festival 2018, Hawaii International Film Festival 2018
Leitis in Waiting is the story of Joey Mataele and the Tonga leitis, an intrepid group of native transgender women fighting a rising tide of religious fundamentalism and intolerance in their South Pacific Kingdom.
The film follows Joey, a devout Catholic of noble descent, as she organises an exuberant beauty pageant presided over by a princess, provides shelter and training for a young contestant rejected by her family, and spars with American-financed evangelicals threatening to resurrect colonial-era laws that criminalise the leitis' lives. With unexpected humour and extraordinary access to the Kingdom's royals and religious leaders, Joeyʻs emotional journey reveals what it means to be different in a society ruled by tradition, and what it takes to be accepted without forsaking culture and tradition.
Leitis in Waiting is an inside story, created by a Polynesian transgender woman who once competed, and won the crown in, Joey's beauty pageant.