I of the Water:  The Unwritten Life of Sia Figiel

Sia Figiel was the first Pacific Islander to write about Samoan girls, and her novels broke silence on taboos like sexual abuse, violence and suicide. But while bold and open on paper, Sia privately struggles with myriad pains.


At the heart of her anguish is a secret she harbors—a shame she has carried since she was nine. It will take traversing a continent, an ocean, her own memories and even the specter of death before she is ready to speak this shame and in doing so reframe societal notions of abuse, trauma and healing.

Project Status:  In post-production. Filming has taken place in the U.S., New Zealand and Samoa.

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Major funding received from Pacific Islanders in Communications, Atherton Family Foundation, Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities, HDS Foundation and the Women's Fund of Hawai‘i.


The project was selected to participate in the Sundance Institute / Women In Film's Women's Financing & Strategy Intensive, International Documentary Association's DocuClub, Doc NYC's Only In New York, Doc Edge Pitch, Doc Edge Rough Cuts, Brown Girls Doc Mafia Feedback Loop, Athena Film Festival Works-In-Progress Program and Good Pitch Local Hawai‘i.

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We are still raising completion funds. The project has the fiscal sponsorship of The Center for Independent Documentary, Inc., which is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Thus all donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.


To make a donation, go to:


Email us at makingwavesfilms@yahoo.com with questions.