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Pacific Film Night - Pollywood Shorts Fundraiser


Pacific Film Night - Pollywood Shorts Fundraiser.

Pacific art and politics come together in Auckland this Saturday night (15 March) in a showcase of Pacific Island film talent and the determined fight for freedom for Pacific journalists.

Some of New Zealand's finest young Pacific film-makers will screen their work at a fundraising venture between the Pacific Island Media Association (PIMA) and the Moving Image Centre. Called POLLYWOOD SHORTS, the night will also provide an opportunity for debate on freedom of the press, an issue which has been brought to the public attention again with the Tongan government's banning of the Tongan newspaper Taimi Tonga.

Six films will be screened at POLLYWOOD SHORTS: Watermark (Damon Fepuleai), Dot's Death (Stan Wolfgramm), Why Doors Slam in June (Jason Taouma), O'Tamaiti (Sima Urale), Savage (Craig Fasi) and Uso's (Popo Lilo). Filmed between 1996 and 2002, this impressive collection of short films lifts the lid on many hidden facets of Pacific lifestyles through the eyes of Pacific filmmakers, most of whom were born in New Zealand.

1996 best short New Zealand film award winner Sima Urale's O TAMAITI is a story about the powerlessness of a young boy in an adult's world. Family love and divided loyalties surface in Stan Wolfgramm's DOT'S DEATH, where the sacrifices a palagi woman and her Tongan husband make for an absorbing study of crosscultural marriage. More echoes of family conflict unfold in Jason Taouma's DOORS SLAM IN JUNE, where the camera uncompromisingly captures a father's nasty habit of slamming doors.

New Zealand-born Craig Fasi returns home to The Rock of Polynesia. This film exhibits the natural SAVAGE beauty of Niue and is a candid look at the people, land, lifestyle and culture. Also screening will be the recent Drifting Clouds (WLGTN) best short film recipient, Damon Fepuleai, with WATERMARK. This film has already screened in Austria. Wolfgramm, Fasi, Taouma and Lilo will be available at the POLLYWOOD SHORTS to discuss their films.

Kalafi Moala, the South Auckland editor and publisher of the New Zealand based Taimi Tonga newspaper, will also talk about his experiences over the past 20 years producing an independent newspaper in the Kingdom of Tonga. Moala now produces the weekly paper from his Penrose base and is seeking a judicial review of the recent banning of his newspaper in Tonga by the Tongan government through the Tongan Supreme Court.

Moala, the chairman of the Pacific Island Media Association, was last year awarded a Freedom of the Press Award. Stories alleging corruption by Tongan officials and the monarchy led to him being jailed for 26 days in 1996, alongside two other journalists. The jailing forms the basis of his recent book ISLAND KINGDOM STRIKES BACK, which will be available for sale on the night.

POLLYWOOD SHORTS will be held this Saturday (March 15) at the Ponsonby Community Centre, 20 Ponsonby Tce, City at 7.30pm. The entry fee is $5 and money made from the night will help fund projects for PIMA.

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