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18th Tahitian Festival of Oceanian Documentary Films transformed into a digital event


     

Between 6-12 February 2021, FIFO (Festival International du Film Documentaire Océanien), due to strict travel restrictions during the pandemic, became a digital event broadcast from Papeete, Tahiti.


16 Février 2021 - 15:00

Main FIFO 2021 prize awarded to 'Loimata, The Sweetest Tears by Anna Marbrook, NZ about Emma Siope, ailing ship-builder and sailor who made it to Loimata, of the Samoa Archipelago©Marbrook Productions, NZ, 2020
Main FIFO 2021 prize awarded to 'Loimata, The Sweetest Tears by Anna Marbrook, NZ about Emma Siope, ailing ship-builder and sailor who made it to Loimata, of the Samoa Archipelago©Marbrook Productions, NZ, 2020

Platform for documentary films about the Pacific island world

Documentary film images of the island world, with the Australian sub-continent and New Zealand, unite strong statements about past and present events, an audio-visual legacy supported both by the French Polynesia government and the French government. FIFO became a recognized platform for the exchange of experience and ideas of documentary film makers focusing on the island world.

Through the selection of documentary and fiction films, FIFO enables directors from Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia, and for the first time, from Easter Island, to present their identities, their cultures and everyday lives, far removed from any exotic image normally associated with the Pacific region. Indeed, most directors who show their films here, took part in one of the workshops in Tahiti before further studies in Australia or New Zealand.

80 documentaries and 28 short narratives were submitted to the FIFO 2021 selection panel. The pre-screening selection committee chose 27 documentary films and 10 Oceanic fiction films to be screened during the festival.
 

Special Prize of Jury went to 'Freeman' directed by Laurence Billet©Matchbook Pictures, Australia, 2020
Special Prize of Jury went to 'Freeman' directed by Laurence Billet©Matchbook Pictures, Australia, 2020

Conferences and Round Tables

Conferences and round tables were also presented on internet. The themes revolved mainly around how television adapts to the pandemic. Most were moderated by Pascal Lechevallier, while 5-6 professional participants discussed various points.

Three other round tables open to the public discussed music chosen to accompany the films, how festivals adapt to the pandemic and how Polynesia became the host for these oceanic films.
 

Prize awarded by the Public went to 'Makatea' directed by Claire Perdrix©13 Productions, Creation TV France, 2019
Prize awarded by the Public went to 'Makatea' directed by Claire Perdrix©13 Productions, Creation TV France, 2019

Awards for FIFO 2021

9 films were chosen for the competition, while 11 others were screened. The online Award Ceremony took place on Sunday 14th, in Papeete, at the Tahitian Maison de la Culture.

The Grand Prix FIFO France Television went to Loimata : The Sweetest Tears, 2020 New Zealand, 95 min film directed by Anna Marbrook, in English and Maori with French sub-titles about Emma Siope, a strong, but ailing, constructor of boats and navigator who managed to sail from New Zealand to the Samoan archipelago island of Loimata to overcome a family curse.

Special Jury Award went to Freeman, 2020 Australia, 58 min film directed by Laurence Billet, in English with French sub-titles, about Australian aborigine Catherine Freeman who won the 400 m race at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Freeman proud to be Australian, but also an aboriginal, who proved that an aborigine could win such an important prize, tells her story 20 years later. Catherine is fully aware that she earned public support from both ‘white’ Australians and those of aboriginal origin.

The Prize of the Public went to Makatea : La Terre Convoitée (Tuamotu Archipelago), 52 min film directed by Claire Perdrix, 2019 France, French with English sub-titles, about the choice of inhabitants between returning to phosphate mining or niche tourism, but also about reverting to traditional life without any outside interference.

The Prize for the best short film went ex aequo to About Last Night by Lucas Claeyssen from New Caledonia and PA-ARI by Toari Pouiira, from French Polynesia.
 

Prize of the best short film was awarded ex aequo to 'About Last Night' by Lucas Claeyssen, New Caledonia©FIFO 2021
Prize of the best short film was awarded ex aequo to 'About Last Night' by Lucas Claeyssen, New Caledonia©FIFO 2021

Some other films in the competition

Eden Tribal : New Caledonia, 52 min documentary by Martin Jayet and Mathilde Lefort, about female Kanak leader Maggy and the role she played in the 2018 referendum calling for independence from France.

Ka Huaka’i The Journey to Merrie Monarch, 2020, 47 min documentary by Gerard Elmore, about the annual Hawaiian dance festival featuring the hula dance and former Miss Aloha Hula.

Mauri O Te Kauri (Kauri Force of Life) : 2019, 52 min New Zealand documentary by James Muir, about native Kauri trees, the backbone of New Zealand forests being attacked by Dieback disease in a poetic vision about Maori ecological systems and beliefs.

Roch Pidjot (Le Souffle de la Dignité) : 2020, 52 min documentary, by Marina Pagam and Jean-Michel Rodrigo, is about Kanak inhabitant Roch Pidjot whose mother was French in New Caledonia. Pidjot educated in missionary schools, rose to become the first member of French parliament as a Kanak. Together with his spouse, daughter of a respected tribal chief, the sober and learned man led New Caledonian people to assert their rights to equality and independence from the French.

Shot Bro : 2019, New Zealand, 52 min documentary by Jess Feast, about Maori actor Rob Makaraka. The renowned Maori actor talks about his suicide attempts in his one-man show Aoteraroa staged mainly for a Maori audience.

The Skin of Others : 2019, Australia, 90 min docu-fiction by Tom Murray about the life of Douglas Grant (1885-1951). Grant, an aborigine adopted by an Australian couple who lived in Queensland became an Australian military officer and fought in World War I before returning to Australia. His heroic actions and military awards were not acknowledged there because of his origin. Grant’s role is played by famous aboriginal actor and singer, Beelang Tom Lewis. The life of Lewis was even more tragic because he ended up an alcoholic and interred in a mental asylum near Sydney.

The myriad films available for future viewers of French Overseas Television services offer a scintillating vision of the creativity of Pacific Region directors.
 
 

FIFO 2021 - 18th Edition



Kunang Helmi-Picard
Fatma Kunang Helmi was born in Yogjakarta, Indonesia. Education in Switzerland, Australia and... En savoir plus sur cet auteur




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