Veteran New Zealand filmmaker Annie Goldson’s documentary about a fatal hate crime in Fiji won the Grand Prix at the 6th Pacific Documentary Film Festival (FIFO, Festival International du Film Océanien) in Tahiti.
An Island Calling (Murder in the Pacific) is a “post-colonial” story about the brutal double murder of a gay male couple, one of who was a human rights worker, in Fiji in mid-2001. The film explores the social, historical and political currents underlying the killing in post-coup Fiji.
Buy the DVD at Occasional Productions.
An Island Calling gets top award
Directors James Sereno and Alex Munoz work with incarcerated youth at Hawai’i Youth Correctional Facility to create original films (faces are blurred to protect the kids’ indentities).
Photo: Liza Simon for Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Chamorro filmmaker Alex Munoz brings his pioneering program, Films by Youth Inside (FYI), to Hawai’i. Twelve teens made two movies in two weeks. The films will screen in Honolulu in early March.
Incarcerated youth get new focus on life through ﬁlm
Ka Wai Ola, Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Troubled teens make movies
Mink was the first woman of color to serve in the US House of Representatives and co-authored Title IX, the landmark legislation that opened up higher education and athletics to American women.
Dubbed “Patsy Pink” for her unabashed liberal democratic views during the Vietnam War, she served in Congress for 24 years championing the rights of women, workers, immigrants and the poor.
Ahead of the Majority: The Life and Times of Patsy Mink traces the little-known story of the trailblazing dynamo who changed American politics forever.
World Premiere – Sun 12 Oct 7:00pm
Encore Screening – Sat 18 Oct 3:00pm
Regal Theatres Dole Cannery 18
Other Pacific films at HIFF:
Vincent Ward’s Rain of the Children
Marshall Islands’ first feature Morning Comes So Soon
Anne Keala Kelly’s Noho Hewa: The Wrongful Occupation of Hawai’i
Sima Urale’s short Coffee and Allah
Rick Bacigalupi’s doc on Jason Scott Lee’s sustainable Big Island farm Living Pono
Samoan/Kiwi rapper Savage goes gold in America and takes honors in Aotearoa.
Savage’s hit single Swing passed the half-million mark in digital/mobile sales in the US this week, landing at #40 on the Billboard 100 and #7 on the iTunes hip hop chart, with more than 3 million views on his MySpace site.
Savage, aka Demetrius Savelio, shared the Tui award for International Achievement at the New Zealand Music Awards with another kiwi top-selling act, folk-jokesters Flight of the Conchords.
Swing topped the NZ charts in 2005 and went global last year after being featured in the blockbuster comedy Knocked Up, leading to a deal with Universal Republic records. Savage is repped by Dawn Raid Entertainment, the South Auckland hip hop powerhouse.
Swing is the first single from his new album Savage Island, due out in December, featuring guest artists and producers Akon, Soulja Boy, Rock City, Sean Paul and Boo Yaa Tribe.
The video is directed by Flyy Kai Crawford, who also directed Savage’s first hit Moonshine.
Kiwi star export drops in and wins
Savage hits gold in US with “Swing” remix
Samoan-Japanese multimedia performance artist Shigeyuki Kihara brings her ground-breaking, gender-bending work to New York in the first solo exhibit by a Pacific artist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Kihara’s striking multidisciplinary work draws on diverse sources such as 18th Century ethnographic photographs, Samoan legends and pop culture images to riff on themes of gender, identity, indigenous Pacific spirituality, consumerism and cross-cultural encounters.
The exhibit includes work from her photographic series Black Sunday, Fa’a Fafine: In a Manner of a Woman, Fale Aitu: House of Spirits and Vavau: Tales from Ancient Samoa, in which Kihara investigates notions of representation by interpreting her own image in a variety of guises.
Kihara will perform her solo performance Taualuga: The Last Dance and speak about her work during October.
Shigeyuki Kihara: Living Photographs
October 7, 2008–February 1, 2009
Lila Acheson Wallace Wing, 1st floor
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Artist bio at Pasifika Styles
Five Pacific films are featured in National Geographic’s All Roads Film Festival screening in Los Angeles and Washington DC during September and October 08:
Hawaikii – first dramatic short from Tainui/Te Arawa filmmaker Mike Jonathan about a young Maori girl’s first day at school
Guarding the Family Silver – Aotearoa’s Moana Maniapoto and Toby Mills (Moana & the Tribe) grapple with intellectual property issues in the global marketplace
Keao –short film about a young hula dancer’s struggle with commercialization of the dance, from first-time Hawaiian filmmaker Kaliko Spenser
Young, Gifted and Samoan – short doc featuring three Samoan youth creating music in San Francisco by Dionne Fonoti
Na ‘Ono o ka ‘Aina: Delicacies of the Land – in the lo’i (taro patch) with Hawaiian production team Joan & Puhipau of Na Maka o ka ‘Aina
Kiwi-Fijian director Toa Fraser’s second feature premiered at the Toronto Film Festival with a big cast, strong audience reception and generally positive reviews.
Fraser’s sophomore effort is located far from the South Pacific, where his first feature, No. 2 (released overseas as Naming Number Two), dealt with Pacific immigrants in contemporary urban Auckland.
Dean Spanley is a period piece based on the novel My Talks With Dean Spanley by Lord Dunsany. Set in Edwardian England, the film stars Jeremy Northam, Sam Neill, Bryan Brown and Peter O’Toole.
Paramount acquired Australian and NZ distribution rights.
Rave reviews for Fijian director’s second film
Kiwi-Fijian director Toa Fraser’s latest film ‘Dean Spanley’ has premiered to a standing ovation at the Toronto Film Festival.
New Zealand director Toa Fraser’s Dean Spanley overcomes an uncertain and sketchy opening section to register as a moving and visually wondrous evocation of magic and imagination.
It’s simple and lollipop sweet, but it’s not an Oscar-caliber movie and it’s unlikely to survive the long knives of those sour critics who save up their bloodlust for flicks like this.
Athlete as Art
Number one at the PI box office this week: shot putter Valerie Vili winning Olympic gold in Beijing.
Vili becomes the first New Zealand-born Pacific Islander to win an Olympic gold medal with a throw of 20.56 meters in the women’s shot put.
The 23 year-old world champion is the daughter of a Tongan mother and a British father.
Nesian Mystik breaks it down
Nesian Mystik’s new single breaks down urban Aotearoa Polynesian culture for its growing global audience.
Rapper Sabre, aka Feleti Strickson-Pua, tells Spasifik Magazine that when traveling overseas they found fans didn’t know much about the band’s culture, “so it’s going back to the basics of who we are.”
Lyrics celebrate their Auckland roots in Samoan, Tongan, Aitutaki (Cook Islands) and Maori cultures, where you can “spot the Polys from a mile away” in their white-on-white sneeks, aloha shirts, socks with jandals and “that greenstone around your neck”.
Luke Sharp is the video director. “We asked him for a video that was alive, bright and vibrant … that people watching and listening could relate to,” says Sabre. “For example, palagis might not understand some of our lyrics talking about island food,” in their paean to fried corned beef, two minute noodles, one-dollar chips and a free cuppa tea.
Nesian 101 is the first single from their forthcoming album Elevator Musiq due out soon.
Sima Urale’s first feature premiers at NZ International Film Festival
Apron Strings is a parallel story of two families from two cultures, Pakeha (New Zealand/European) and East Indian, set in suburban New Zealand.
Urale is best known for her acclaimed short films O Tamaiti, Still Life and Coffee & Allah, which screened at film festivals around the world.
The film explores the relationships between mothers and their fatherless sons, through the metaphor of food.
“Apron Strings isn’t simply a story about women,” says Urale. “It’s about their sons and the next generation; the changing face of New Zealand … and the age-old conflict between traditional and modern… which also reminds us we have more in common with each other across cultures than we think.”
Apron Strings stars British-Indian actress Laila Rouass (Footballers Wives) with Scott Wills (Perfect Creature, Stickmen), Jennifer Ludlum and Nathan Whittaker.
The film is produced by Rachel Gardner of Maxim Films and was written by Dianne Taylor and Shuchi Kothari. The cinematographer is Rewa Harre.