Thursday, February 18, 2010

The One About A Samoan Filmmaker

After spending the last two days at home recovering from a weekend in Vegas, I'm realizing the extent of my mortality. I slept a grand total of 11 hours. This mirrors another Vegas weekend five years ago. My sister, Dionne and I celebrated her 30th birthday partying with cousins in true Vegas (club-till-you-drop) fashion. Five years ago, I didn't need much sleep to function properly. This time around, I struggled to even stay awake yesterday and wasn't at all productive.

Last week, Dionne was on her way to an anthropology conference in DC but couldn't attend as both DC airports were closed due to inclement weather. Fortunately for me, I re-routed her to stay with me in SLC. Prob not ideal for her since she dislikes Utah (yes, the entire state...).
As I haven't seen Dionne in exactly a year, I was MUY (Selena anyone?) excited to catch up with her. I cooked dinner (pork ribs! redic good btw...), showed her some SLC eating spots and even watched lots of tv while talking about everything that's happened this past year. Last Thursday, Dionne was invited to speak at an Ethics class at the University of Utah highlighting a documentary she made in 2007. I was so beyond proud at how she easily navigated questions from the class into a forum discussing cinematic perception of Pacific Islanders through the lens of a Samoan filmmaker.

That next morning, I flew out to Vegas for the Rugby 7s tournament. I invited Dionne to join me but she declined opting instead to rest and work on personal entrepreneurial projects. While I had a great (read: AMAZING) time in Vegas, I realized just how much more mature Dionne is. Not to say she wasn't mature before. But she was willing to sacrifice some Vegas-fun to focus on more important long-term goals. Combined with her performance in the ethics class and our general conversations, I couldn't be more impressed with the amount of growth and development within one year. Not to mention being able to literally feel her excitement and passion for films-- her true niche in this world.

Next week, Dionne turns 35! (Sorry for putting you on blast! hahaha). She definitely embodies the type of passion and resilience that I hope to gain in my own life. Here's to you, sis! Preemptive Happy Birthday and to many more years of cheering you on from your corner.


  1. LAI! Great blog. =) I would love to meet Dionne and talk with her about that whole film making thing- that's awesome!!! Besides I always like to meet my pass riders ;-) haha hope you're enjoying yourself i'm so jealous you're out there-

  2. Nice blog Lai... Hope to meet cousin Dionne one day as well!!! Everyone and their momma went to Vegas last week.. hahaha wait, except moi!

  3. oh i miss dionne. im still waiting for her copy of the documentary, like suspensively waiting. sorry i missed your day here in hawaii, would've been nice to see you. im lookin forward to hearing more from you...your wit is right up my alley. love you cuz.