Hafekasi Unclassified 18+
A 10-year-old girl becomes newly aware of her cultural identity in this impressive debut that received a Narrative Short Special Jury Mention at Tribeca.
After her first communion, Mona finds herself caught between worlds: not only childhood and adulthood, but her mixed heritage as a hafekasi, the Tongan word for ‘half-caste’. Inspired by Melbourne director Annelise Hickey’s own experiences, the film’s emotional weight belies its length, accruing pathos in small moments, shy glances and sensory intimacy. It also features immersive handheld cinematography from Matthew Chuang (Of an Age, MIFF Premiere Fund 2022; You Won’t Be Alone, MIFF 2022; Blue Bayou, MIFF 2021) and a heartfelt breakout performance from Izabelle Tokava as Mona, alongside Laura Gordon (Undertow, MIFF Premiere Fund 2018) as her mum.