(SHE/HER)

VEIALU
AILA-UNSWORTH

 

HELLO!

My name is Veialu, pronounced Vay-ah-loo (AKA Lulu). 

I'm a screenwriter specializing in female-driven dramas, and I also write/direct some narrative film projects.  My work explores the complexities of underrepresented females finding their voice in the world.

Find my recent screenplays, The Defiant One, and War Dancer here.

The Defiant One, made The Black List's 2021 CAPE List, a list of 10 screenplays centered on Asian and Pacific Islander stories.  I was also awarded the 2022-2023 Armed With a Camera Fellowship, and as part of it, I'm making a short film about a Papua New Guinean/American woman navigating her Indigenous and Western cultures.

I've been in the game for 15+ years primarily as an award-winning television creative producer/director and copywriter in Australia before I found my happy-place screenwriting.

My animated short film, Blue Willow, (which I produced, wrote, directed, and illustrated) screened at the Berlinale Film Festival and 27 festivals.

 

Originally from Papua New Guinea / Aotearoa New Zealand, I'm now based in San Francisco, California (USA), the unceded ancestral homeland of the Ramaytush Ohlone peoples.

MY VOICE

Expect nuanced female protagonists on the brink of a life-changing experience.  They will be forced to come to terms with their identity and will endure journeys that are emotional, unexpected, and transformative.

I have a particular passion for historical dramas, biopics, and true events told from the point of view of females of color, I also love writing contemporary stories.

 

Feeling like an outsider has hugely influenced my work.  Losing my culture and homeland at a young age and living between different cultures and worlds has given me an unrelenting curiosity about identity and the extent to which we get to define that for ourselves.  I explore this in my work. 

AND I INSTA BLOG

@hollywood.diversity profiles old Hollywood trailblazers

 @united.we.rawr  supports underrepresented filmmakers

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I'M A FILM NERD

I meditate.

I have two master's degrees.

I once did a Goddess workshop in Egypt, journeyed overland from Tibet to India, and saw a ghost in Rome.

29 is the number of countries I've traveled to.

5 of them I've lived in.

A punnet is what you get berries in where I'm from.

Leaving my ancestral homeland as a child then being the only Papua New Guinean in a small town, taught me to be mentally tough and embrace the unknown.

I've watched more movies and series than is probably medically advisable.

I adore plants, cats, dogs, dumplings, and biopics.

I believe self-love is the key to inner peace.

Poet Hone Tuwhare, singer/songwriter Nina Simone, and author Anne Frank are my first storytelling heroes.

My sanctuaries: the beach, the cinema, ocean waves.

MY BACKGROUND

I found my happy-place screenwriting after 15+ years in the game as an award-winning television creative producer/director and copywriter for Australia's largest commercial television networks (NINE and TEN).

 

My specialties: Leading the creative development of campaigns for specific audience groups (including the launch of two TV channels and 100s of promo campaigns), having plenty of creative ideas, directing film shoots, and project managing campaigns through the entire production process from concept to launch.

I also directed social impact shorts in Mumbai, India.

I'm an alumna of Berlinale Talents, Victoria Univerisity of Wellington, Auckland University of Technology, and New Zealand's national drama school, Toi Whakaari, where I studied stage directing. I have two master's degrees in Scriptwriting and Theater Arts.

Working on laptop