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Synopsis: In the far northern atolls of Papua New Guinea, scientist chieftain and visionary John Aini resurrects old secret ways and melds them with what he and his fellow chieftains and their people know of the coral reefs they rely on. Vala North is a story of a thin thread of hope in a changing world, hope for coral reefs around these islands, and hope for the communities that rely on them.


English, Tok pisin, and local dialect (New Ireland, PNG)

Run Time

12 minutes


John Aini

Directed by

Stephani Gordon

Written by

Dan Evans

Executive Producer

David Mitchell

Edited by

Dan Evans


Stephani Gordon

Director's Statement

Filming in Papua New Guinea was a life changing experience for me- the indigenous people I worked alongside are so full of beauty, ingenuity, and resourcefulness in caring for their resources, with amazing resilience and optimism even in the face of climate-related struggles.

Director's Bio

Stephani Gordon is a field biologist turned filmmaker and has spent thousands of days in remote places, filming for National Geographic, National Science Foundation projects, United Nations funded work, and for many other organizations. Her focus is to help share the stories of rugged ocean coastlines, rivers, mountains, islands, and their people with others who are curious about our wild world.

Country of Origin

Papua New Guinea

Production Year


Official Website






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