Visual artist Ben Mikha shares this stunning tribute video to Samoa.
We first met Ben when he had made it through to the final round of a competition to take up an internship with the Discovery Channel, which he later went on to win.
He explains why he wanted to make this video below:
A dedication to the people of Samoa, my motherland and my ancestors for guiding this journey.
This has been a long time coming, around 2 months of on-and-off editing, learning an entirely new Editing software to handle the files, learning a new camera and multiple drafts to finally reach the end film - I'm so happy to share this with you all!
As you may or may not know, Samoa suffered a measles outbreak at the end of 2019, over 80 people lost their lives and thousands have been affected. I wanted to create a film that would show the beauty of the culture, a timeless piece which people can watch in any era and get a feel of what makes Samoa truly unique - it's people.
This was an entirely self funded trip, no brand sponsorships, just a passion project I have had on my mind since I first picked up a camera. Fast forward three years and I've reached that goal. One thing i'm proud of is that there is no additional footage from a second or third shooter, no stock footage, all the shots you see are my own and were mostly filmed within 6 days with the exception of the Saofa'i (chief ceremony).
The title says Samoa but it also includes American Samoa which are two separate nations, however upon visiting Tutuila I felt like I was still in Samoa and I didn't want to exclude the people and the beautiful island from this film, I wanted to take it back to the pre-colonisation days before other countries came in and changed things.
Hopefully you can appreciate a travel film entirely narrated in a different language, it's definitely experimental and something I had to step outside my comfort zone to accomplish, however I'm proud to share part of my culture with you guys and take you on an authentic trip through my lens.
Filmed, Directed, Edited and Narrated by yours truly! If you haven't been to Samoa yet, you really are missing out on a special place ;)