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Vilsoni Hereniko

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Vilsoni Hereniko
Born (1954-10-13) October 13, 1954 (age 69)
Hapmak, Itu'ti'u, Rotuma
Alma materUniversity of the South Pacific
University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
OccupationProfessor at University of Hawaiʻi
Known forWriter & Director of The Land Has Eyes

Vilsoni Hereniko (born October 13, 1954) is a Rotuman playwright, film director and academic. He was the writer and director of Rotuma's first ever (and so far only) feature film, The Land Has Eyes (Pear ta ma 'on maf).



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 Master's 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.[1][2] He is now a professor at the Center for Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where he teaches literature, theatre and film.[1]





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.[1]



Hereniko has served on the jury and selection committee of the Hawai‘i International Film Festival. The Land Has Eyes, set in his native Rotuma, was his first feature film, in 2004. It was presented at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004,[3] and was Rotuma's official submission to the 2006 Academy Awards.[4] It received the "Best Overall Entry" award at the 2005 Wairoa Maori Film Festival, and the "Best Dramatic Feature" award at the 2004 ImagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival.[5]




  • Two Plays, 1987, ISBN 982-02-0015-6
  • The monster and other plays, 1989, ISBN 982-02-0028-8
  • The wicked cat, 1991, ISBN 982-01-0073-9
  • Last virgin in paradise: A serious comedy, 1993, ISBN 982-02-0084-9
  • Woven Gods: Female Clowns and Power in Rotuma, 1995, ISBN 0-8248-1655-2
  • Sina & Tinilau, 1997 (children's book), ISBN 982-02-0127-6
  • Inside Out: Literature, Cultural Politics, and Identity in the New Pacific, 1999 (as co-editor), ISBN 0-8476-9142-X