emma siope
Anna Marbrook
Anna Marbrook
Jim Marbrook
Executive Producers
Dame Gaylene Preston
Dr Tamasailau Suaalii-Sauni
Associate Producers
Mike McCombie
Roger Lampen
Maori Television
Funded By
NZ On Air
NZ Film Commission

LOIMATA The Sweetest Tears

Winner Grand Prix du Jury FIFO
Top ten Picks Hawaii International Film Festival.
World Premiere Whānau Mārama New Zealand International Film Festival

Ema Siope is six feet tall, has the strength of three men, and is one of the few women in the world who can captain and build traditional ocean going sailing canoes. Ema is dying. Now she must conjure up the powerful forces she harnessed in ocean voyages and use them to face a traumatic past that has strained and fractured family ties. Ema takes her family on a road trip into their past. From a wintry New Zealand wilderness where her parents – once high chiefs and landowners – became immigrant housemaids and farmworkers, to their first family home where all hopes were swamped in shame. Ema navigates her family back to their mother’s Samoan birthplace where she was schooled in the ancient ways and to her father’s ancestral island where she holds a chiefly title. With failing health Ema has one final step – Loimata. If she can free the shame that began there, there is a chance she could liberate her family forever.


“Loimata: Why this Kiwi doco will move you in ways you might not see coming” Stuff

“NZIFF Preview: LOIMATA The Sweetest Tears”
Radio New Zealand

“The last journey of waka maker and voyager Ema Siope”
Radio New Zealand

“bMovies w/ Anna Marbrook: July 14, 2020”

“Women of Influence: Ema Siope’s legacy captured in new film Loimata: The Sweetest Tears” Stuff

“Loimata – A Real-Life Wayfinder”

“NZIFF 2020 mini-reviews (K – M)”

Project Stats


Nautical Miles