Ms Marina Alofagia McCartney

BA, BA (Hons, First Class Honours), MA (First Class Honours) Auckland

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Professional Teaching Fellow


Marina was born and raised in Manukau City, New Zealand. From a Geordie Father, Samoan Mother and Cook Islands step-Mother, she is powerfully aware of her cultural heritage, how this affects the way we are viewed and how we view others.  After just over a decade in the fashion industry, as Miss New Zealand and one of the few fashion models of Pacific descent, she returned to the University of Auckland to study film and graduated with a MA (First Class Honours).

She is an award-winning filmmaker with films featuring in over 30 festivals, including Palm Springs ShortFest, NZ’s Best Short Film in the NZ International Film Festival, ImagiNATIVE, Hawai’i International Film Festival and the NZ Script Writer Awards.  Her collaborative feature film VAI is currently doing the festival rounds, screening at the Berlinale, SXSW and Maoriland.  

Marina is an experienced teaching fellow and her academic areas of expertise are Pacific Studies, Pacific filmmaking, Pacific representation on screen and representations of the Pacific woman. Marina is a PhD candidate exploring Pacific filmmaking, proud mother to her daughter, Alena Sevai and is currently working on her feature film, The Return.

Marina is co-covening the ARTSCHOL100 course for 2019.

Research | Current

  • Pacific undergraduate academic success
  • Pacific filmmaking
  • Vai (feature film): writer/director
  • The Return (short film, in development): writer/director
  • The Return (feature film, in development): writer/director

Teaching | Current



  • SXSW 2019, Texas, U.S.A.
  • Berlinale 2019, Berlin, Germany (OPENING film of the NATIVe section)
  • DEGNZ Women’s Incubator Programme 
  • Melbourne International Film Festival Accelerator Lab
  • SEED Grant for Innovation in Teaching
  • Commonwealth Shorts Production Lab Participant
  • The University of Auckland Alumni Art & Cultural Award
  • The University of Auckland Cultural Blues Award
  • The University of Auckland Graduate Scholarship
  • Pacific Islands Polynesian Education Foundation Postgraduate Scholarship
  • The University of Auckland Faculty of Arts Pacific Leadership Award
  • The University of Auckland Maori and Pacific Graduate Scholarship
  • Kate Edger Educational Charitable Trust Bachelor (Honours) Degree Award

Areas of expertise

  • Pacific Studies
  • Pacific filmmaking
  • Pacific representation on screen
  • Representations of the Pacific woman
  • Pacific undergraduate academic success
  • Directing: narrative short film
  • Screenwriting: narrative short film



Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

Contact details

Office hours

By appointment.

Primary office location

Level 5, Room 507
New Zealand

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