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BUTTERFLY/BATAPLAI

A short narrative drama.

A Papua New Guinean/American woman challenges
her evangelist father's strict rules to find her voice as a makeup artist.

Written, Directed & Produced by
Veialu Aila-Unsworth


Instagram:  @bataplai.film

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Running time:  8 mins

Country:  USA

Languages:  English, Tok Pisin

Open Subtitles:  English

Starring Regina Pande, Graham Pande, Joana Mate, and the voice of Olivia Korken.

 

Cinematography by Judd Overton, Music Composed by Maxwell Stone and Otis Kane, Sound Supervisor & Re-recording Mixer Tyler Proctor, featuring Photographs by Patrick Leahy and the song "Hypnotised" by Alyson Joyce.

Made in San Francisco / Ramaytush Ohlone land,

California, United States

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SYNOPSIS

Raya (Regina Pande) loves makeup but her family does not.  She’s torn between her secret dream of being a makeup artist and her family’s strict religious beliefs.  In a nightmare, she receives a profound message from her Papua New Guinean ancestor who encourages her to look at her Indigenous culture for answers.

SCREENINGS 2023-2024

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (World Premiere), USA

Māsima Pacific Islands Film Tour, USA

Micheaux Film Festival, USA

Hawai`i International Film Festival, USA

imagineNATIVE Film & Media Festival, Canada

LAAPFF Presents:  REPLAY, USA

Papua New Guinea Human Rights Film Festival, Papua New Guinea

Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, USA

Los Angeles Skins Fest, USA

Barbados Independent Film Festival, Barbados

Disorient Asian American Film Festival, Oregon, USA

Māoriland Indigenous Film Festival, Ōtaki, Aotearoa New Zealand
Dawson City International Short Film Festival, Yukon, Canada
NewFilmakers LA April Festival, Los Angeles, USA

Pasifika Visions:  Short Film Screening, California State University Long Beach, USA
West Hollywood Women's Leadership Conference & Network Mini-Film Festival, USA

VC Film Festival, Long Beach, California, USA

CAAMFest, San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA

UPCOMING SCREENINGS

Honolulu Museum of Art, Hawai`i - May 24 - 26, 2024
Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival, California, USA - May 24 - 26, 2024

Weengushk Film Festival, Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada - July 11 - 14, 2024

Native & Indigenous Film Showcase at the University of Southern California, USA - August 2024

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ARTIST STATEMENT
BY VEIALU AILA-UNSWORTH

Papua New Guinean women belong everywhere!

 

We are multi-faceted, fierce, complex, curious, intelligent, imaginative, and so much more.

I want to challenge our invisibility on-screen.

For those of us in diasporas, living away from our cultural homelands, we are forging new identities, navigating multiple cultures, pushing against stupid stereotypes, finding acceptance and belonging, finding healing and freedom - finding our voice.

I explore this in Butterfly/Bataplai.

 

My intention with this film is to show what it's like for one Papua New Guinean woman living in the diaspora trying to forge a path between her Indigenous roots, spiritual beliefs, and the Western world she lives in.

 

Butterfly/Bataplai asks the question:  Who defines us as Papua New Guinean women, and to what extent do we get to decide that for ourselves?

[Find out more on Instagram @bataplai.film]

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BUTTERFLY/BATAPLAI SHORT FILM WAS MADE WITH THE 2023 ARMED WITH A CAMERA FELLOWSHIP

The Armed with a Camera Fellowship is awarded by Visual Communications (vcmedia.org), a non-profit organization whose mission is to develop and support the voices of Asian American & Pacific Islander filmmakers who empower communities and challenge perspectives.

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