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
In a world where hundreds of indigenous languages are dead or facing extinction there is a bright, shining hope: Kohanga Reo, Maori “language nests”.
Veteran filmmaker Tainui Stephens documents the ground-breaking indigenous educational movement, and the woman behind it, in a feature documentary screening at ImageNative, the Toronto native arts festival.
Kohanga Reo is based on the simple but powerful principle of totally immersing pre-school children in native language and values. After 25 years, the program is recognized worldwide as a turning point for revival of Maori language and culture and an inspiration for language survival programs worldwide.
The model has been replicated successfully in other native communities, including Hawaiian Punana Leo.
Let My Whakapapa Speak
16 Oct 08, 1:00PM
Al Green Theatre
They are the two magic words in the story of how a struggling Maori language was pulled back from the brink of extinction: ‘kohanga reo’.
The new Pacific Islands Film Festival debuts in Honolulu with a collection of features, docs and shorts from Aotearoa, Australia, Majuro, Tuvalu, Samoa/Los Angeles and Hawaii.
The Marshall Islands’ first dramatic feature film has its international premier at the Honolulu Design Center on 12 July 08. Morning Comes So Soon features local folks in a teen love story dealing with racism and suicide.
The festival also screens two New Zealand features: Toa Fraser’s Naming No. 2, starring Ruby Dee as a Fijian matriarch, and Samoan Wedding featuring Aotearoa’s zany Naked Samoans comedy team.
Documentaries deal with Samoan gangs in urban America, tribalism in Papua New Guinea and Bougainville, effects of global warming on Tuvalu, Hawaiian culture and Polynesian DNA origins, plus biographical films about Samoan writer Albert Wendt and Maori musician/filmmaker Moana Maniapoto’s battle over the right to use her own name.
Keynote address is by the godmother of Pacific film Merata Mita (Patu, Mauri) of University of Hawaii’s Academy of Creative Media. Celebrity night features Pacific film icon Cliff Curtis (Once Were Warriors, Whale Rider).
The festival is produced by the Pacific Basin Institute at Pomona College, California.
As Seen on Screen
Pacific Islands Film Festival brings big attention to little-known issues
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.
FIFO wants films
Festival Internationale du Film Documentaire Oceanien
6th Pacific International Documentary Film Festival
27 Jan – 1 Feb 09
Deadline: 1 Oct 08
Documentaries about the Pacific region, made during the past three years, are eligible. Films compete for cash prizes, including Jury Grand Prize and Audience Prize.
2008 winners are: Horo’a, by Jacques Navarro-Novira (French Polynesia); Sacred Ground by Kim Mavromatis, documenting a fight to save Aboriginal burial grounds (Australia): Ben Lewis’s Blowing Up Paradise about French nuclear testing in the Pacific (Britain); My Brother Vinnie, Steven McGregor’s portrait of actor Aaron Pedersen’s bond with his intellectually disabled brother (Australia); The Latest Australian Trackers by Eric Ellena (France); and Peta Carey’s Lifting of the Makutu, about a family grappling with a rare genetic disorder (New Zealand).
Pierre Ollivier, FIFO Director
Native Spirit Festival 2008
Film & Video Festival of the Indigenous Peoples of the Three Americas
London Oct 08
Deadline: 31 Aug 08
Call For Entries
Native American films come to screens around London this Spring at the second Native Spirit Festival, founded in 2007 by Mapuche artist Freddy Treuquíl to educate the British public about indigenous life and issues in the Americas.
Directors and Producers are invited to submit films on DVD, any year of production.
As severely under-represented people in the global film and media industries, the festival is seen as a much-needed platform to celebrate and explore indigenous life and demonstrate that although these communities are culturally diverse, they share common views and plights; above all, their unique spiritual relationship with the natural world and their struggle to maintain their cultural identity in the face of modernisation and the encroachment of mainstream western culture.”
10th Festival of Pacific Arts
20 July – 2 August 2, 2008
Theme: Su’iga’ula a le Atuvasa (Threading the Oceania ‘Ula)
Deadline: Friday 9 May 2008
The Pacific’s premier arts event seeks documentaries and features from Pacific filmmakers.
More than 2,000 people from 27 Pacific nations converge on Pago Pago in July for the four-yearly festival, showcasing a mind-boggling array of arts from traditional navigation and canoeing to healing, tattoo and culinary arts alongside theater, visual arts and performance.
Contact: Nancy Tagaloa at email@example.com or (684) 733-9660
For more details download the Film Festival Invitation
CALL FOR ENTRIES
Kathmandu 5 – 8 June 08
Submission deadline: 25 April 08
The Indigenous Peoples of Nepal invite producers, filmmakers and organizations interested in indigenous films and issues to the Nepal International Indigenous Film Festival 08 …
We invite you to share our cultures, experiences and worldviews through the films …
As a country of various indigenous nationalities, we expect to learn from the indigenous films and filmmakers from all over the world so that we could create a synergy among all indigenous people for the preservation and promotion of their invaluable cultural heritages, customs, arts, traditional knowledge, cultural identity and political rights.”
Ethnic & indigenous film festivals in Canada and USA seek submissions.
MOOSE FACTORY MOVIES
Weeneebeg Aboriginal Film and Video Festival
Moose Factory Ontario
6th annual: March 5-9 08
Deadline: Dec 20 07
Grassroots community festival in James Bay area of Northern Ontario screening films about indigenous life by native filmmakers. May be the only native film fest with bear-hunting and ice-fishing.
NEW BROWN GREEN
Global Green Indigenous Film Festival
Santa Fe New Mexico
Inaugural: April 18-20 08
Deadline: Jan 18 08
National Tribal Environmental Council (NTEC) and New Mexico Tourism launch the first global green indigenous film festival screening at El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe. Programming films and videos that address indigenous environmental concerns and issues.
SCENES FROM THE OLD PLANTATION
Stuck in the taro patch again with tinned fish for lunch when all you want is corned beef
Director Paul Stoll (Tongan) serves up scenes of Tongan life in his short feature Tavake, featured in National Geographic’s All Roads Film Festival at Los Angeles, Washington and Santa Fe, Nov-Dec 2007. Paul and partner Sarah Del Seronde (Dine) shot on location in the kingdom with non-professional actors for his first narrative film.
Also screening at All Roads is Tearepa Kahi’s spectacular short feature Taua. Maori warriors and slaves drag a giant waka taua (war canoe) over a mountain in a sort of South Pacific Fitzcarraldo. Both films also screened at Hawai’i International Film Festival.