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LEITIS IN WAITING tells the story of Tonga's evolving approach to gender fluidity through a character-driven portrait of the most prominent leiti (transgender) in the Kingdom, Joey Mataele, a devout Catholic of royal descent. Over the course of an eventful year, Joey organizes a beauty pageant, mentors a young leiti who is rejected by her family, and attempts to work with fundamentalist Christians regarding Tonga's anti-sodomy and cross-dressing laws. Her story reveals what it means to be different in a deeply religious and conservative society, and what it takes to be accepted without giving up who you are.

This film played at the 2019 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    72 minutes
  • Language
    English, Tongan
  • Country
    Tonga, USA
  • Director
    Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson, Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu
  • Producer
    Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson, Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu
  • Cast
    Joey Mataele, Eva Baron