Red, White & BrassDirected by Damon Fepulea'i
Cast: John-Paul Foliaki, Dimitrius Schuster-Koloamatangi, Ilaisaane Green
Official Selection, 2023 Sydney Film Festival
For Tongan die-hard superfan Maka, no distance is too far to get tickets to the sold-out Tonga vs. France match in the Rugby World Cup.
After blowing his family’s church money on fake tickets, Maka must redeem himself by finding another way to get his enormous community to the game. His solution: promising the city council that his brass band will provide the pre-match entertainment. The catch: he has no band. Nevertheless, with his infectious energy, Maka rallies together a group of oddballs and sets to work with plastic bottles in place of instruments and only four weeks to prepare.
As the deadline creeps up, so does the realization that the importance of their performance lies not in seeing the game, but in representing Tonga to the world. What starts as a ruse for free tickets evolves into a hilarious and heartwarming journey that pushes the band towards a deeper understanding of themselves and their Tongan culture.
Based on a true story from the 2011 Rugby World Cup, RED, WHITE & BRASS encapsulates the passion and pride of the Tongan community. It’s the ultimate underdog feel-good film, bursting with laughs, happy tears, an incredible soundtrack, and straight māfana.
– Kalohe Danbara