Speaker Halaifonua Finau

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Halaifonua Finau

Co-Founder, Executive Producer and Showrunner

Tavake

A proud Tongan, born and raised in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Halaifonua Finau, or Nua as he's more commonly known, is at the forefront of bringing Polynesian stories to our screens.

He studied at Whitireia Performing Arts as a dancer but made his name in the industry as an actor and presenter. In recent years he's taken his love of performance and shifted his focus behind the camera.

Nua brings storytelling with Tongan swag to the kava bowl of creativity. He is a writer and producer, with a mission to take his little corner of the Pacific to the world. He cut his teeth in children's television as a producer on Small Blacks TV, and honed his skills and vibe in series two of the much loved Polynesian series Baby Mama's Club. In 2019, Nua was co-writer and associate producer on Jonah, the tele-feature drama series on Tongan and All Blacks rugby legend, Jonah Lomu.

In 2021, Nua teamed up with Four Knights maestro, Tom Hern (The Dark Horse, Guns Akimbo, Shadow in the Cloud) and created their production company Tavake. Their first drama series The Panthers which he wrote, created and executive produced alongside Hern was the first New Zealand TV series to premiere at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival. His first feature film, a semi-autobiographical family comedy Red, White & Brass in which he is writer and producer alongside Morgan Waru (Baby Done) and Georgina Conder (Cousins, The Breaker Upperers) and executive produced by Taika Waititi and Carthew Neal's Piki Films is due for release in 2022.

 

Speaking on: Production Partners; Indigenous Screen Summit Pitch Forum 8:00 am - 1:00 pm (Van Horne Ballroom)

At the Banff Media Festival, we met with Netflix and took a ride up Sulphur Mountain on the gondola. That’s where we made the pitch.
- Naveen Prasad, EVP and GM, Elevation Pictures

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