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Ship Ahoy for the Premiere of Pacifica on Maori TV

Publicity Release
for Release Mon May 16 To Sun May 22

Ship Ahoy for the Premiere of Pacifica on Maori Television

“The sand sparkled as with the dust of diamonds”
Robert Louis Stevenson

As many as there are grains of sands on the shores, so too are there tales in the South Pacific. Maori Television launches PACIFICA on Saturday May 21 at 8.30 PM – a 13-part series about that traverses the mighty Pacific and presents the incredible tales of its peoples.

Tales of adventure, tales of wildlife and their extensions into mythology, stories of heroes and colourful characters of the past and present, natural phenomena, spellbinding tales and the customs and traditions of the unique peoples and societies of the South Pacific are due to unravel on Maori Television every Saturday night.

Produced by Australian production company Juniper Films, the series brings to life the mystery and magic of Polynesian, Melanesian and Micronesian cultures to stimulate the minds of viewers from young to old and provide for rich family viewing.

The premiere episode brings to viewers tales from the Solomon Islands and Tahiti – flitting from people who have lived on artificial islands for 500 years to the arrival of the acclaimed painter Paul Gauguin to the tropical paradise of French Polynesia.

Centuries ago, a new race of people evolved in the Solomon Islands on the giant coral reef off the island of Maliata. The surrounding Langa Langa Lagoon is home to a people who have created their own artificial islands from the laborious task of manually stacking coral rocks into heaps for foundations. Some islands are 200m wide and home to over 1000 people and one island has managed to survive for 500 years.

Reigning chief Nathan Wattie is a tireless champion for the people and believes in the power of a traditional life. “My ancestors built the islands to move away from the malady of mosquitoes and the almost permanent sate of war with the head hunters. The first salt water people believed that the spirit of our ancestors acted as an intermediary between nature and the living. But now, we believe our traditions have broken down.”

Subject to routine plundering by foreign fishing vessels, the customary lifestyle of the ‘salt water people’ of Langa Langa Lagoon is at threat. “So many old ways are forgotten. In the time of our ancestors, we had plenty of fish of every kind and now the fish are becoming sparse,” Wattie says.

PACIFICA then veers away from the Solomons across the ocean to Tahiti to revisit a famous love story – that of the amorous union between intriguing post impressionist artist Paul Gauguin and his Tahitian wife Pahua. His arrival in June 1881 was, in a sense, an arrival for European painting. The troubled artist came with a passion to live, to renew himself and to find a lost innocence but what he found was a love story and one of the most memorable periods in his painting career.

PACIFICA features 34 tales of adventures and drama over the next 13 episodes and will continue to feature on Maori Television, every Saturday evening at 8.30 PM.


Ends

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR PACIFICA

Censor : General Exhibition (G)
Duration : Half-hour, 13-part series
Language : English language

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