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Young film star on the rise

Wednesday June 12, 2013 Written by Published in Entertainment
Heimata Kietonga (centre) with her two younger sisters Maroi (left) and Raya. 13061235 Heimata Kietonga (centre) with her two younger sisters Maroi (left) and Raya. 13061235

Film Raro sparked a passion for acting in 10-year-old Heimata Kietonga.

Kietonga won the lead role in “Little Girl’s War Cry”, a drama with a social message that was written and directed by Erin Lau.

The film tells the story of a 10-year old girl named Tiare, who adopts a super-hero persona to shelter herself from the reality of her mother’s abusive relationship with her boyfriend. Tiare’s hero-minded stance leads her to confront the violence that stains her childhood and discovers an inner strength and the power of the bond between mother and child.

Mixing heart-warming humour with the serious topic of domestic violence, the film received an award for its social message – presented at the film’s debut screening at the auditorium by US deputy chief of mission Marie Damour.

Kietonga, a Grade Six student at Takitumu School, said Film Raro was “a fun and cool experience”.

While she isn’t decided on what she wants to be when she grows up, it’s currently a toss-up between acting and playing sport.

She loves netball and soccer, and plays both sports for her school.

Kietonga has two younger sisters aged five and two, and one older sister who is 13.

She is the only one of her siblings to audition for Film Raro, but her lead role has inspired her older sister to give it a go if the film festival returns next year.

“When she saw me in the film, she said ‘Mum, I want to be in it next time’.”

Kietonga had four days off school while the film by the Hawaiian crew was being shot, and was hard at work including one 17-hour day.

She practiced her lines with her mother Anna Roumanu, and sometimes with Film Raro organiser Stan Wolfgramm.

Though it was hard work, Kietonga said she would love to be involved in the film festival if it returns.

“I’d want to do it again – it was lots of fun.”

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