The Land Has Eyes (Pear ta ma ‘on maf) is a 2004 Fiji Islander film written and directed by Vilsoni Hereniko. It is the first ever (and so far only) feature film from Fiji.
The film was shot on Rotuma, homeland of director Vilsoni Hereniko. Lead actress Sapeta Taito is Rotuman, and The Land Has Eyes is her first film appearance. She had, in fact, never seen a film before acting in this one. Rena Owen is best known for playing the lead female role in Once Were Warriors. The film also stars John Fatiaki as a corrupt court official.
The Land Has Eyes was presented at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004, as well as a number of other international film festivals. It was Fiji’s official submission to the 2006 Academy Awards.
The Land Has Eyes received the “Best Overall Entry” award at the 2005 Wairoa Maori Film Festival, and the “Best Dramatic Feature” award at the 2004 Toronto ImagineNative Film & Media Arts Festival.
Vilsoni Hereniko (born 1954) is a Fiji Islander playwright, film director and academic.
Hereniko is a Rotuman, born in Mea village, Hapmak, Itu’ti’u District, Rotuma, Fiji. He was schooled in his native Rotuma, obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of the South Pacific in 1997, a Masters degree in Education at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and, in 1991, a PhD in literature and language at the University of the South Pacific. He is now a professor at the University of Hawai’i's Center for Pacific Islands Studies, where he teachers literature, theatre and film.
Hereniko published his first plays in the mid-1970s, including Don’t Cry Mama, A Child For Iva, Sera’s Choice and The Monster. In 1997 he received the Elliott Cades Writing Award for his overall contributions to literature.
Hereniko has served on the jury and selection committee of the Hawai‘i International Film Festival. The Land Has Eyes was his first feature film.