Ian Lesa

Executive Committee
About / Biography

Ian and his family relocated to sunny Nelson at the end of March 2019.  He’s been working as a freelance artist for the past nine years.  Since his arrival, he’s been making new friends and building connections within the Nelson film community and wider community also.  As an emerging theatre practitioner and film maker, his particular focus is on strengthening Pasifika voices in the arts.  He is currently undertaking an exciting project, again working with Pasty Burke, with the Nelson Tasman Pasifika Community Trust.

His key credits include Co-Directing, with Patsy Burke, ‘Lipstick Kisses’ – part of the 48HR Film Festival 2019 – which will be shown at the Top of The South Film Festival 2019; Co-Directed Massey University’s ‘Still Waiving’ (October 2017) event, which forms part of the biennial global ‘Climate Change’ theatre event; Playwright – short play: A Girl’s Dance (Where is the Hope? An Anthology of Short Climate Change Plays); Assistant Director, Stage Manager and Choreographic Facilitator on Te Rakau Theatre Hua o Te Wao Tapu Trust’s epic four-play series ‘The Undertow’; Lead support actor in ‘The Great Maiden’s Blush’ feature film; and lead actor in the ‘Maul’ short film.

Ian studied at Whitireia Community Polytechnic attaining a Diploma, Degree and a Post-Graduate Diploma in stage and screen arts.  In 2016, Ian graduated with a Masters of Theatre Arts (MTA) in Directing, co-delivered by Aotearoa’s prestigious drama school Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School and Victoria University of Wellington.  He is the only Samoan in Aotearoa with this degree.

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