Sandra Kailahi


Choose a theme

Copy (Ctrl C) the code below

Vela Manusaute / Sandra Kailahi / Hanelle Harris

This urban coming-of-age story is not your typical Pacific Island story, although the beginning would suggest otherwise. It begins when Leke (12) runs away from home, after yet another beating from his frustrated father. Leke is approached by a young acolyte who takes him to meet 14 year old Siale - "the Messiah".  At first Leke doesn't know what to make of the spiritual leader or his followers, but for once he feels a sense of belonging with this strange "Army of God".  What unfolds over the next few days will test Leke and what he truly believes in as he is put through the ultimate test of faith, loyalty and understanding.  Eventually he finds the strength to return home, face his abusive father and finally stand up to him.

Our team (Kingston Productions) received $10k from the New Zealand Film Commission's Fresh Shorts programme to make The Messiah, which is awesome! We are deeply greatful for this support but in order to produce this unique and powerful film we do need a little extra help - which is where you come in! 

We are honoured to have some of the best film veterans in the industry, including award-winning Cinematographer, Grant McKinnon (Deadlands, Supercity, Harry) and highly acclaimed Editor, Cushla Dillon (Filthy Rich, Supercity).

In order to support our HODs, we need to provide them with the very best tools and resources to enhance their cinematic vision.

Everyone working on this is so generously giving their time and talent with very little in return because of their belief and passion for this story.

Your help will empower and enable us to make this film the very best it can be! No donation is too small and every bit really does help!

Malo 'aupito

Sandra, Vela & Hanelle

Our Team
Sandra Kailahi (Producer) has worked in the television industry for over two decades but when she's not doing that she's also a playwright, an author and dabbles in anything that takes her fancy. This is her first time producing a short film but she loves the story and is excited to be working with Vela and Hanelle.

Vela Manusaute (Director/Writer)  graduated from Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School in 1996. He's been writing and directing for the stage for over 20 years. Vela has worked on New Zealand films including 'The Tattooist', for which he is credited for the original idea for the film. The original idea for 'The Factory' stage musical was Vela's vision, which also lead to him working on 'The Factory' web series as Executive Producer and Actor.  Vela was a joint recipient of a New Generation Award for Kila Kokonut Krew, alongside his partner Anapela Polataivao.

Hanelle Harris (Line Producer) has a long list of achievements in the film and theatre world. She's known for her work both on screen as an actress, (Orphans & Kingdoms, Hillary, This Is Piki) and off screen as a writer, director and producer (Baby Mama's Club, The Promise Of Piha, Maria).



  • Thank You



    We did it! We reached 100% - our target of $10K.

    We all have a lot to be grateful for and of course smile about.

    We wouldn't have been able to do this without the support of everyone who donated. Whether it was $5, $50 or $1000 every dollar counted and helped us to achieve our goal.

    Vela, Hanelle and I would like to thank everyone who helped support our campaign. It is really humbling to know others believe in our dream too.

    Keep watching this space for 'The Messiah'.

    Photography by Raymond Sagapolutele.

    Thank You
  • We are almost there!



    We are now at 98%. That means another $185 and we will reach $10K. It has been an incredible journey over the past month and we are in awe that we can see almost see the top of the mountain.

    Thank you to everyone who donated $5, $10, $20, $25, $50, $100, $500 and $ all made a difference.

    We would also like to introduce Vita played by Daya Mafiti.

    Daya is a MMA fighter. He is also a PIPA graduate and hails from the Rock. He plays Vita who is The Messiah's right hand soldier.

    We are almost there!
  • Meet the youngest member of 'The Messiah' cast


    Introducing Hector-Jack Halamoana Polataivao Manusaute.

    The 10 year-old plays the role of LIMA, the youngest soldier in the film.

    It's his first short film but you wouldn't know it! Hector-Jack is so talented and will be a force to reckon with in the future. You can see why though with such acting pedigree with his mother, Anapela Polataivao and his father, the director of 'The Messiah', Vela Manusaute.

    Wow!! We have hit 82% of our target but we only have 40 hours left to reach $10K. We have come this far thanks to everyone who has donated.

    We are blown away by the support we have received from around the country and overseas and in the Pacific...a big Fakaue lahi...Malo 'aupito and thank you guys.

    There is still time to donate. Any amount would be appreciated.

    **A special mention to Raymond Sagapolutele for his photography.

    Meet the youngest member of 'The Messiah' cast
  • Meet The Messiah



    Meet the Messiah - Introducing Haanz Fa'avae Jackson

    Haanz plays Siale the self proclaimed Messiah in Vela Manusaute's directorial debut short film of the same name.

    Haanz is a versatile and passionate actor and father who hopes to inspire young Pasifika artists to rise and tell their stories.

    His past credits include the theatre production, 'Black Faggot', The Girl from Niue, and The Factory. He's also appeared in film and done TV presenting.

    This incredibly talented actor takes the lead in 'The Messiah' and we believe he is bound for bigger roles in the future.

    Help support Haanz and our film...there are only 2 days left to make a donation to our boosted campaign so we can finish the film.

    We are stoked with all the donations so far but we still need to make our target of $10K.

    Sandra, Vela and Hanelle.

    Meet The Messiah
  • Post Production Begins



    We have now started editing with the amazing Cushla Dillion and Fauze Hassen so we need to hit our $10k to help finish the film.

    We have 3 more days to go until our Boosted campaign finishes. Thank you to everyone who has donated so are all fantastic. We can do this.

    All donations make a difference.

    Post Production Begins
  • Over half of 'The Messiah' crew are women


    We are happy to announce that we have crossed the halfway mark but we still need your help. We only have 3 days left to hit our target ok $10K.

    Working on this film has been amazing!

    Not only did we have some of the industry's top people work with us but Kingston Productions is pleased that over half of the crew were female.

    That includes 2 female camera operators...Jacklene Alvarez as 1st AC and Julie Zhu as 2nd AC.
    And another proud achievement is that over 90% of the crew were either Maori or Polynesian.

    We support Pacific films and storytelling!!! Please help support our dream.
    All donations are greatly appreciated.

    ***A special mention to Raymond Sagapolutele for his incredible photos including this one of the cast & crew

    Over half of 'The Messiah' crew are women
  • Day 2 - Meet the Director and Producer


    We only have 6 days left and we still have a ways to go.  We would appreciate any amount to help us get over the line and make our $10K.  This will allow us to go into post production and edit our short film and prepare for post sound. 

    The shoot has been amazing and we are so blessed to have so many people believe in this film and support us.  Please help us to make this film.

    A big thank you to Raymond Sagapolutele for his amazing photos and for his great sense of humour.

    Photo: Sandra Kailahi (Producer) and Vela Manusaute (Writer/Director)

    Day 2 - Meet the Director and Producer
  • And so it begins...


    Day 1 of filming for The Messiah.  As you can see our crew have started filming The Messiah.  

    Our DOP, Grant McKinnon (The Last Saint) and our Director, Vela Manusaute take a quick break in between scenes in Manurewa with Jacklene Alvarez and Julie Zhu.

    Filming has begun but we need your help to finish shooting and editing this short film.

    We have now hit $2970 but only have 9 days left to make our target of $10K.  The money will go towards paying our wonderful crew and cast and also to help edit the film.

    Any donation will be greatly appreciated. 

    Please support Vela, Sandra and all those who are behind 'The Messiah'.

    And so it begins...
  • We have our lead actor.


    We have hit $1970 but we only have 11 days left to make our target of $10K. We need your support!

    We are so grateful for the donations we have received so far but we need your help... any amount or donation will go a long way to help us making the film we want to make.

    Check out our lead actor

    Sixteen year old Iavana Seuala plays the role of Leke in the short film, The Messiah by Vela Manusaute.

    Iavana is a Kiwi born Samoan from Manurewa, with family connections from the villages of Lalomanu, Tuanai, Leulumoega and Faleasiu. He is the third eldest of 6 siblings and is very proud of his South Auckland and Samoan heritage.

    He’s been inspiring people for the last three years through his public speaking and MCing performances, not to mention being involved in the production of a short film, school dance competitions, 48hour challenge and the Vodafone Pacific Music Awards.

    Iavana's currently in Year 12 at Manurewa High School and is looking forward to the challenge of NCEA. He is an inspiring, motivated young man who has used the journey of his grandparents leaving Samoa to go to New Zealand and his parents' hard work to inspire him to succeed.

    We have our lead actor.

Other Projects by Sandra Kailahi