Here is exciting news for the Samoan community. The Samoan Comedy/Romantic movie, Three Wise Cousins, will be released in Samoa at the end of this month.
The confirmation came from the Director, Writer and Co-Producer of a grass-root produced movie, Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa.
“We are currently sorting out logistics mostly around our crew availability; we are planning to bring our hard working crew over and reward them by letting them see Samoa without having to work. They have been to Samoa a few times but never as a holiday,” he said.
“Putting a smile of people’s face was the main concept of the movie,” said Stallone.
And if the number of people who have already watched the movie, and the tickets being sold very fast was anything to judge by, the movie is set to be a hit already. And one would say that the concept of the movie has been achieved.
The idea to make ‘Three Wise Cousins’ was born when Stallone was directing the Mr Lavalava Segment for Fresh mid way through 2014.
“My co-producer for Three Wise Cousins, Wilhelm Voigt suggested that some of the contestants would make great actors in a film,” said Stallone.
“The idea was then stuck in the back of my head.
“And so as I brainstormed the core idea of Three Wise Cousins, I realised that it had to take place in Samoa.”
Making feature films was Stallone’s main goal after finishing high school though he was not sure then about what kind of film he would make.
“But over the decade or so since, I found that whatever film I made had to be entertaining and fun to watch.”
‘Life is all about having the right perspective’ is the theme of the movie and was inspired by the phrase “Laughter is the best medicine”.
Putting together the film was no easy task, admits the director/writer and co-producer of the movie.
This was because everything was self-funded. All funding came from Stallone’s pocket, from production to funding and marketing, and the entirety of the movie.
“I had to go back to work and save more money,” he said.
Another major challenge was balancing the schedules of the cast and the crew.
“It was difficult to get momentum,” said SQS.
However, they pulled through.
It took them three weeks over two shooting blocks to film the movie in Samoa, and the New Zealand segment took over six months, though 20% of the film took place in New Zealand.
And after sleepless nights and long hours of hard work by Stallone and his crew in putting together the film, they are now reaping with joy over the success of the movie since its premiere earlier this month.
Asked about what contributed to the success of the movie, Vaiaoga-Ioasa said- “I think the success of Three Wise Cousins stems from the fact that we didn't compromise the cultural values that underpin the film; and that it is not ashamed of the fact that it aims to put a smile on people’s faces.”
He also admitted that writing the script for Three Wise Cousins was “not too difficult” for him.
“How the film ends was the catalyst for the film, so I just had to structure the film around achieving that ending. Also with the knowledge that I would cast Fesuiai Viliamu and Vito Vito; I had a strong idea of how the script should sound.”
Fesuiai Viliamu and Vito Vito were two of the contestants from the Mr Lavalava program and that was where Stallone met the duo.
Being the lead characters in the Three Wise Cousins movie certainly surprised the pair, said Stallone.
“They feel a sense of achievement, but certainly a lot of surprise,” he said.
“When we were making the film, the idea that it would be so well received was such a distant thought. Overall, they are proud of what they have achieved, and proud of the fact that they were willing to step out of their comfort zone and make the most of the opportunity they were given.”
Fesuiai Viliamu works at the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture as a network engineer and Vito Vito is a cultural entertainer for the Samoa Tourism Authority.
For Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa, working in the community and family is the main inspiration for film-making.
Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa is a graduate from the University of Auckland with a conjoint Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law.
He is from the villages of Alafua, Toamua, Puipa’a and Leone in Samoa.
So if you and your family are looking for something exciting to do at the end of this month, look no more because Stallone and his crew will be bringing what is believed to be an authentic, fun and entertaining movie to our shores.