Pasifika Film & Arts Festival (PFAF )

482890_129738303879813_1098965398_nPasifika Film & Arts Festival
Studio 2204

A film and arts festival showcasing issues of interest related to the Pacific Island region.

The first Pasifika Film & Arts Festival (PFAF) is hosted by Studio 2204, from Friday 21 June to Sunday 30 June 2013 as part of Open Marrickville 2013 in Sydney.

PFAF brings stories from the Pacific to Marrickville’s doorstep. Featuring films, shorts, docos and animation from Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia, the festival will encourage members of our local Pacific community, especially our youth, to connect with their cultural heritage through visual arts and storytelling, while also sharing our wonderful Pasifika culture with the wider community.

6.00pm – 10.00pm

The PFAF program kicks off with an opening night extravaganza of Pasifika films, art, performance and more.

The Sound of Crickets at Night
Director: Jack Niedenthal & Suzanne Murphy
Length: 80 min
Genre:  Drama
Synopsis: An elderly nuclear survivor from Bikini Atoll summons a mysterious ancient deity to help reunite his family.

5:30pm – 8.30pm

SHORT FILMS FAMILY NIGHT: Animations, short films, comedy and short documenatries

Tales of Nanumea (Animation series)
Director: George Samuels

Tales from Nanumea is an animated series by George Samuels to help save the myths and legends of a sinking nation, Tuvalu. Its aim is to preserve the culture of Tuvalu, raise awareness of global warming, and re-engage youth and Elders through cultural animation.

Pai & Vau
Length: 3.34 min
Genre:  Drama
Synopsis: A Tuvaluan legend about Nanumea’s founder, Tefolaha, and the two island women, Pai & Vau, who once inhabited the island.

Te Lima
Length: 2 min
Genre:  Action
Synopsis: During World War II, somethinginexplicable happens to a small group of Germans after encountering a warrioron the island of Nanumea.

Defeat of Tulaapoupou
Length: 2 min
Genre:  Action
Synopsis: A Tongan giant falls at the hands of Nanumea’s protector, Lapi, leaving an imprint in the land for futuregenerations to remember.

Samuels, George, dir. Pai & Vau. 2008. Animated Film.

Pai & Vau is one of three short animations by George Samuels that will be screening at the Pasifika Film & Arts Festival. Traditions say that the first people to be found on the island of Nanumea, Tuvalu, were two women, Pai and Vau. Tefolaha (a man whose true origins are debated to be either Samoan or Tongan) tricked the two women, with the use of his spiritual prowess, into thinking that he was the true founder of the land. As a result, Pai and Vau were forced to leave the island, leaving Tefolaha as the new founder, guardian and protector.

Director: Tresa Ponner
Length: 12 min
Genre:  Comedy
Synopsis: Sosefina escapes her big, loud, annoying Samoan family and their rundown house to pretend to live in a displayhouse.

Director: Leilani Gibson
Length: 5.27 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: This filmspeaks of the spiritual world and discusses the traditional story of a beautiful Tongan woman, Fehuluni, as told through the eyes of artist and curator Loketi Niua Latu.

This is My Culture
Director: Ranu James
Length: 4.55 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: Culture issomething intrinsically linked to who we are, it cannot be separated fromsomeone and to treat everyone the same is to deny our uniqueness.

A Pork Bun for Charlotte
Director: Jason Taouma
Length: 7.21 min
Genre:  Comedy
Synopsis: A heart-warmingtale of love, struggle and a pork bun.



Chanel, Marie, dir. Too Familia. n.d. Short Film.

Too Familia
Director: Marie Chanel
Length: 5 min
Genre:  Drama
Synopsis: Too Familia is a short film by Marie Chanel which is a comedic take on two strangers mourning, trying to hold their composer while hung-over at the wake of a loved one. Unbeknowst to them, their chance encounter at the wake triggers memories of meeting the night before in a drunken mess – leading to the realisation that they’re just too familia.

Pacific Women’s Weaving Circle
Director: Lisa Hilli
Length: 5.39 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: Love, laughter, excitement and a passion fortradition and contemporary Pacific weaving. It’s a document of what happenswhen Pacific Islander women get together to weave.

The Tongans: Meet the Parents
Director: Kalo Fainu
Length: 22 min
Genre:  Drama
Synopsis: Getting to her high school formal provesdifficult for Siva when her Tongan family get in the way of her big night.

5:30pm – 8.30pm

WEST PAPUA/PNG FILM NIGHT Drama and documentry films from West Papua and Papua New Guinea


Brown, Dominic, dir. Forgotten Bird of Paradise. 2009. Documentary.

Forgotten Bird of Paradise
Director: Dominic Brown
Length:  27 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: Forgotten Bird of Paradise is a documentary film about the struggle for independence being fought in West Papua.

Painim Aut
Director: Platon Theodoris
Length:  34.26 min
Genre:  Drama
Synopsis: Esther, a teenage girl from Chimbu provincein PNG, fears she has contracted HIV from her boyfriend Jimi.

Bigpela Bagarap (Big Damage)
Director: Davide Fedele
Length:  43 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: Bikpela Bagarap (Big Damage) reveals thehuman face of logging in Papua New Guinea.

5.30pm – 8.30pm


Upi Mop Le (The Last Fish)
Director: John Harvey
Length:  43 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: This film explores how Torres StraitIslander artist Ricardo Idagi maintains a sense of connection with ‘home’through his artwork.

The Hungry Tide
Director: Tom Zubrycki
Length:  90 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: A personal story about a Pacific nation onthe frontline of climate change.

5.30pm – 8.30pm

WEST PAPUA/PNG FILM NIGHT Drama and documentry films from West Papua and Papua New Guinea

Ironic Survival
Director: Urbanus Kiaf, Wenda Tokomonowir, LeoMoyuwend
Length:  5.46 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: After living in harmony with nature forgenerations, Alex Mahuze is forced to earn money through means that ironicallyharm the environment.

Hopes of the Cendrawasih Children
Director: FX Making
Length:  7 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: Primary school children in Arso on the Indonesian-Papua New Guinea border are keen to study – but teachers rarely cometo the local school.

The Last Hunter
Director: Urbanus Kiaf
Length:  8.23 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: In 1990 the Wasur National Park in Meraukewas made to protect the biodiversity and empower the local inhabitants.  In 2012 there are very few animals left inthe park.  Hunter Leo Wambitman is on theverge of giving up his bow to sell timber instead.



Pollet, Olivier, dir. Canning Paradise. 2012. Documentary.

Canning Paradise
Director: Olivier Pollet
Length:  90 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: Decades of overfishing by the global tunaindustry have now pushed the final frontiers to the waters of PNG.  Canning Paradise follows the struggle of indigenous tribes to protect their sacred way of life.

5.30pm – 8.30pm


The Embrace of Night (Go to Sleep)
Director: Robert George
Length:  5.34 min
Genre: Experimental
Synopsis:  ‘The space that is occupied between myths & dreams’
A five minute experimental video installation that attempts to describe our interiorlandscape. A place where people naturally blend their busy waking lives withtheir emotions and ideas to create a narrative that is completely unique tothem, and yet universal to us all.

Reva Reva
Director: Paia Juste-Constant
Length:  7.55 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: Reva Reva is a story about filmmaker Paia Juste-Constant’s connection to her grandmothers and their full body tattoos.This beautiful canvas is far greater than a staining of the skin, more than apattern of ink.

Director: Story Weavers
Length:  15 min
Genre:  Drama
Synopsis:  Pearl is a short film written, directed and filmed by acollective of young people from Pacific backgrounds – incorporating everyone’sidea of how it is to be a young Pacific person living in Australia NOW! It’sthe story of Dinah, a young woman struggling with her grandmother’s death andthe demands that her family place on her.

My Moko
Director: Andrew Scarano
Length:  6.30 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: Brent Kerehona takes us behind hisMoko to reveal issues of identity crisis and culturally conflict he has had todeal with growing up in Australia.


McCartney, Marina, dir. Milk & Honey. 2012. Short Film.

Milk and Honey
Director: Marina McCartney
Length:  15 min
Genre:  Drama
Synopsis:  A chance meeting between two Samoan immigrants forces them to contemplate their future in the land of milk and honey.

Common Kings: We on Tour
Director: Hagoth Aiono
Genre:  Documentary
Australian Premiere Common King’s We On Tour short documentary

Pasifika Film and Arts Festival

Studio 2204

20 Farr Street, Marrickville,
NSW, Australia

Friday 21 – Sunday 23 June 2013
Friday 28 – Sunday 30 June 2013
5.30pm – 8.30pm

Opening Night: Friday 21 June 2013
6pm – 10pm

Tickets for the OPENING NIGHT event are FREE – however please book online for catering purposes.

For all other screening sessions: Adult tickets are $5 per session and children under 12 are free.

For screenings please take along your own cushion or pillow (limited seating available).

Bookings essential via:


Twitter: @PFAF2013

PrintStudio 2204 was started by photographer/filmmakers Kalo Fainu and Tanja Bruckner and is a creative space in Marrickville, a suburb of Sydney’s Inner West. The space is available for film, photography, workshops, exhibitions, events etc. Website: Facebook:

For more information contact:
Kalo Fainu 0424 445 839 or Tanja Bruckner 0424 456 004

All Images: via PFAF Facebook page


Talanoa: Larry Thomas (IWOIFF)


The inaugural Islands in the World Oceania International Film Festival  (IWOIFF) will be hosted by the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji from 15-20 April 2013.

I talanoa with Festival Director playwright and filmmaker Larry Thomas about the Film Festival and he offers some advice to aspiring Pacific film-makers.

How did the Film Festival come about and what do you hope audiences will experience and take away from the festival?

There have been quite a number of film festivals in Fiji but the problem is sustaining it and to do this requires major support in terms of resources and funding and support from the international community of filmmakers and producers. Fiji National University have been organising film festivals for some time and credit should be given there.

Last year they organised a large one and hope to repeat it this year. We don’t want to replicate the FNU festival. The Islands in the World International Film Festival (IWOIFF) came about really for a number of reasons;

1.       We have a public that loves going to the cinema but just loves watching films, period.

2.       There have been many films made about the Pacific but hardly any from the point of view of Pacific Islanders themselves.

3.       We have ‘technicians’ who are interested in the medium but often don’t have the exposure.

4.       By having an international film festival here we hope to attract people working in the industry who can come here and share some of their experience and knowledge with our local filmmakers.

But to really answer your question, Dulcie, I hope audiences will experience and enjoy films that don’t often make it to the commercial cinema and see that that there is a huge variety of films that are fascinating and amazing and tell stories that we can learn form, be educated and be inspired.

The films shown are both documentaries and feature and I hope audiences will go away a little more broadminded and appreciative of the great films that will be shown but also to listen to filmmakers talk about their experiences in making their films. And I hope they will take much more, each person will of course take away something that no doubt they can relate to.

As a film maker yourself what challenges have you faced, and what advice would you have for aspiring Pacific film-makers?

There are many challenges and funding is just one of them. I think the biggest challenge is finding a supportive and conducive ‘community’ if I can call it that. People AND institutions who can appreciate and understand the passion of the filmmaker and provide that support.

The response will generally be, ‘yeah that’s a great idea, good luck, all the best’ and promptly change the subject to something else. We need to begin a ‘community’, of people who can appreciate and contribute productively and constructively to the passion of someone wanting to make films.

One way of building that is a film festival that can bring people and international filmmakers here to share and exchange ideas and provide moral support. There are no shortage of stories and technicians.

My advice to anyone out there wanting to make films, write plays, write a script etc., is to just go ahead and DO IT!! There are many excuses that can prevent us from doing what we want but if you have the determination and the passion then you can do it, no matter what!

Islands in the World Oceania International Film Festival  (IWOIFF)

15-20 April 2013

University of the South Pacific
Suva, Fiji



Twitter: @OceaniaFilmFest

Urban Viti:

Interview conducted via email 2 Apirl 2013.

PACSOC Young Pacific Artists Program


The Pacific Islands Society (PacSoc) is calling on young artists (20-30 years old) from the Pacific region to submit portfolios of their work. Successful applicants will then have selected works from their portfolio featured on the PacSoc blog alongside a brief profile of the artist and contact information for how the artist can be reached.

PacSoc recognizes that the rich cultural tapestry of the Pacific Islands region is producing talented young Pacific artists. Unfortunately, a lack of awareness for their work is preventing them from realizing their full potential on the world stage.

“There is not a lack of interest in Pacific Islands culture here in Europe but rather a lack of familiarity. By simply sharing art, music, food, and dance from the Pacific Island Countries, we can bridge the geographic divide that separates London and Suva. In so doing, we will not only foster the spread of Pacific Islands culture but also provide opportunities for cultural entrepreneurs like young artists to discover new markets for their creations.” Pacific Islands Society President Eddie Walsh

Over the next year, the Society will work to have the works of selected artists featured at a Pacific Artists: The Next Generation cultural event being planned for the spring of 2014 at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

If you are interested in being considered for this opportunity, please forward a one-page expression of interest, 3-5 high-resolution photos of your best work, and any coverage that your art has received in your local media to by 17:00 GMT on 30 JUNE 2013.

The Pacific Islands Society is an independent, non-partisan, non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting stronger people-people relations within the Pacific Islands region and beyond.

Pacific Artists: The Next Generation is one of the society’s programmes designed to empower young leaders in the Pacific Islands region.




Twitter: @PacIslandsSoc

Images courtesy of Pacific Islands Society



The inaugural Islands in the World Oceania International Film Festival  (IWOIFF) will be hosted by the University of the South Pacific, at the Japan ICT Centre, in Suva, Fiji from 15-20 April 2013.

Festival Director, Larry Thomas said, IWOIFF’s intention is to bring international films to Fiji that would otherwise never hit the mainstream and provide an opportunity for Fijians and Pacific island filmmakers, technicians and artists to meet, learn and be informed of film and filmmaking in all forms.

Internationally renowned French film maker, Alfred Lot, known for his role as Associate Producer in the film Transporter starring Jason Stratham and as 1st Assistant Director of Kiss of the Dragon starring Jet Li will be attending the Film Festival, with two of his own films, Melody’s Smile and A Spot of Bother, scheduled to be shown at Village 6 Cinemas during the week. He will be joined by other French Filmmakers and movie directors, as well as directors from French festivals such as Michel Degorce-Dumas for the Rochefort Film Festival and René Boutin for the People’s Film Festival “Anûû-rû abôro”. The festival will be launched by the Ambassador of France, H.E. Mr Gilles Montagnier.

Other films scheduled include O Le Tulafale (The Orator), a Samoan feature film, set in Samoa, Children of the Bomb, the winner of the grand prize at FIFO (The Oceania Documentary Film Festival) in Tahiti, and a selection of Maori short films.

The festival, expected to be the first of many, is being made possible with support from the Rochefort Film Festival in France, The French Embassy, The University of the South Pacific, The Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) at USP, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and Film Fiji.

Check out the IWOIFF website here for the festival programme and their Facebook page here for daily updates.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting an interview with Festival Director, Larry Thomas. We talanoa  about the film festival and film making in the Pacific. Update: You can view interview here.


Islands in the World Oceania International Film Festival  (IWOIFF)

15-20 April 2013

University of the South Pacific
Suva, Fiji



Twitter: @OceaniaFilmFest

Source: IWOIFF media release. Images: via IWOIFF website

since i’ve been back…

I must say a month of regular blogging after four months of silence is very time consuming for someone who has a 9-5 job where Urban Viti is a side thing that occupies my brain most of the time.

There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes – contacting people, emails going back and forth, researching, getting permission to use images, editing and more editing etc. etc.

I have heaps of ideas for this blog – in fact 17 posts pending and lo and behold I’m even thinking about concepts for my own arts practice…that’s what having no TV does to you. You think, you create. I’ve missed that.

I’ll be taking time-off to from blogging to re-evaluate what I want out of Urban Viti. Having said that I do have a few more stories to post this month, so watch this space.

Here’s a round-up of posts in March {click on the coloured text to view posts}:


A fresh look at vale ni style with vale ni style #1 and some tapa spotting {i spy}.


#TeamMela @ Pataka

PATAKA in Porirua, Wellington currently have two exhibitions showcasing Melanesia. The Black Islands is a photography exhibition by Ben Bohane (until 21 April) and Baskets of Melanesia (until 23 June) features baskets from all over Melanesia.

Island Style: Dancing the Pacific an exhibition that draws on the rich collections of images, words and sound held at the Alexander Turnbull Library and celebrates dance traditions as a vibrant expression of Pacific cultures. How do we as Pacific Islanders depicted in these archival images construct our own history around the memories that are still available? I recount my own memories and family history in this post. Do the images speak to you? What do they say? What memory do they evoke?

Maketi Ples 2013 a summary of the the third Maketi Ples that was held from 20 February – 10 March 2013 at Global Gallery in Paddington, Sydney.

2013 Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival 5-7 April 2013, Melbourne, Australia has been developed by Footscray Community Arts Centre and the Big Island Collective to bring together a series of events that showcase excellence in Pacific contemporary arts in Melbourne. This exciting cross artform event includes exhibitions, workshops, film screenings, a community day celebration, forums and much more! If you’re in Melbourne, do check it out.

Call out for submissions/proposals

Towards a Niu Oceania?: A SPACLALS Hui (Auckland, New Zealand). SPACLALS Hui investigates and celebrates Pacific Arts and Criticism by inviting submissions (critical papers, creative performances, workshops). DUE 30 APRIL 2013.

Pasifika Film & Arts Festival (Sydney, Australia) is on from Friday 21 June to Sunday 30 June 2013 as part of Open Marrickville 2013 in . Submissions for short films, docos, animation, photography and visual art pieces are DUE 10 MAY 2013.

Vinaka Vakalevu to those who have shared Urban Viti over the last few weeks!


Follow Urban Viti on Facebook for regular updates:

Island Style: Dancing the Pacific

uv.nlnz.PUBL-0073-128A circle of seated women, their arms raised in a dance. They are watched by French sailors and others travelling on the French vessel Zelee under Captain Jules Sébastien César Dumont d’Urville. Marquesas Islands, between 1837-1840.

uv.nlnz.1.2-038100-FTurn of the century : Well-clad and hatted women and men performing a dance under trees in the Cook Islands, 1900.


Dancers in traditional dress at Banaba, Kiribati. Circa 1906.

These images are from the Alexander Turnbull Library at the National Library of New Zealand exhibition, Island Style: Dancing the Pacific.

The exhibition draws on the rich collections of images, words and sound held at the Library and celebrates dance traditions as a vibrant expression of Pacific cultures.

The exhibition views dance mainly from the perspective of outside observers – people such as travellers, academics and tourists. From early as the 1700s to recent times.

From the Fijian meke to Samoan siva through to the Tokelauan fatele, the exhibition provides a unique view into traditional dance practices in the Pacific region.

Some of the images in the exhibition are available online on the National Library of New Zealand website here.

Online archival collection of images like the one on National Library of New Zealand’s  website reunites the material with the place and community it came from.

How do we as Pacific Islanders depicted in these archival images construct our own history around the memories that are still available?

Or as in my case, memories that don’t belong to me but I can relate to, as it’s in my blood.

As a family historian I have come to remember dates, names, places, ships. My white, Mestizo (‘manila man’), Chinese ancestors arrived in Fiji as early as 1809 and right up to the 1940s.

Their story/my history is written down and documented but never captured in image. And by ‘their’ I really mean only my white ancestors.

On my ‘to read’ list is the manuscript of  Dumont d’Urville, captain of the Zeelee from the first image. Dumont d’Urville was in Fiji in 1838 and had sent a troop of marines to destroy a village on the island of Viwa. In 1834, chief Namisomalua’s nephew had captured the French ship L’Aimable Josephine and killed the captain and most of the crew.

My Spanish born ancestor Frank Rodan was a crew on the L’Aimable Josephine and was lucky to have escaped. I had never thought to check if there were images from Dumont d’Urville travels to Fiji.

And then there are images like this.


Fijian women
coconut oiled bodies
dressed in masi
faceless like my bubus

Fijian female ancestors
never documented
and if written about,
always nameless

*bubu Fijian for grandmother

Do these images speak to you? What do they say? What memory do they evoke?

Island Style: Dancing the Pacific

18 March to 11 May 2013

Turnbull Gallery
Level 1, National Library of New Zealand
Corner of Molesworth & Aitken Streets
Wellington, New Zealand

10am – 5pm, Monday – Saturday



Image credit: Images in this post used with permission from the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

i. Danse des femmes de Nouka Hiva a bord de la Zelee. Legrand d’apres E. Le Guillou [del]; lith Rigo freres et C[ompagn]ie r. Richer. [Paris, Berquet et Petion, 1844]. Le Guillou, Elie Jean Francois, b. 1806 :Voyage autour du monde de l’Astrolabe et de la Zelee sous les ordres du contre-amiral Dumont d’Urville … par Elie Le Gillou … ouvrage enriche de nombreux dessins et de notes scientifiques … par J. Arago. Paris, Berquet et Petion, 1844. Ref: PUBL-0073-128. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

ii. Cook Islands dance, Rarotonga. Ref: 1/2-038100-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

iii. Two dancers in traditional dress at Banaba, Kiribati. Arundel, Lilian fl 1906-1909 : Photographs of Banaba, Kiribati (formerly known as Ocean Island, Gilbert Islands), Nauru, and Makatea. Ref: PAColl-6044-18. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

iv. Seasea, a dance, being performed in Fiji. Hocart, A M : Photographs of Solomon Islands, Rotuma and Fiji. Ref: PAColl-1914-209. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. Ref: PAColl-1914-209

Permission from the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, must be obtained before any reuse of these images.

SPACLALS Hui : Submissions and Proposals

A Call for Papers, Submissions and Proposals
Towards a Niu Oceania?: A SPACLALS Hui

20-21 June 2013 Auckland, New Zealand (Venue to be advised)

South Pacific Association for Commonwealth Language and Literary Studies (SPACLALS)

Are we still moving, as Albert Wendt called for in 1976, ‘Towards a New Oceania’?[1] Has this new Oceania turned tides and become a niu Oceania?

In what ways and for what purposes? Wendt’s seminal treatise on the development of Pacific Arts and Criticism lay an elemental foundation for those in the Pacific to develop their creative and critical voices in a post-colonial (where ‘post’ means ‘before’, ‘during’ and ‘after’ colonialism) Pacific. Wendt’s article poses questions that remain relevant today:

• With over 1200 indigenous languages in our region, “plus English, French, Hindi, Spanish and various forms of pidgin” how do we “catch and interpret the Void”?
• “What is authentic culture?”
• How have contemporary writers and artists drawn on the “fabulous treasure house of traditional motifs, themes, styles, material” to “express our uniqueness, identity, pain, joy, and our own visions of Oceania and earth”?

This SPACLALS Hui investigates and celebrates Pacific Arts and Criticism by inviting submissions (critical papers, creative performances, workshops) that addresses a question above or engages with any of the following elemental themes and lines of enquiry:


Keynote speaker is Maualaivao Albert Wendt.

SPAN, the journal of SPACLALS, will publish conference proceedings.

Venue and registration details to be advised.

SPACLALS invite paper and creative proposals by 30 APRIL 2013.

For conference paper submissions please send to Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh, Chair of SPACLALS: with the subject heading SPACLALS HUI SUBMISSION.

For all creative submissions (performances) and workshop proposals, please send to Grace Taylor with the subject heading SPACLALS HUI SUBMISSION.

For more information head over to SPACLALS Facebook page here.

[1] Albert Wendt, ‘Towards a New Oceania’, Mana Review, 1976, 1(1), pp. 49–60.

Source: SPACLALS Media Release