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Pacific Film premieres in Christchurch

Ono – Pacific Arts Festival
1 – 4 February, 2006
26 January, 2005

Pacific Film premieres in Christchurch

Ono – Pacific Arts, from 1 – 4 February celebrates local and international Pasifika film with a Christchurch Premiere of the Fijian made feature film “The Land Has Eyes”, and “Underground Flicks” short films by local film makers; screening on Thursday 2 February 8.00pm at the Hoyts Cinema Moorhouse Ave.

The feature film “The Land Has Eyes”is the first Fijian feature film that had it’s world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival 2004 before appearing in numerous film festivals around the world, picking up awards at Toronto Canada - ImagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival, Cinema Paradise Film Festival, and New Zealand’s Waiora Maori Film Festival.

Set and shot in Rotuma an island North West of Fiji, the story is about a young Rotuman girl Viki, who, after the unjust death of her beloved father, fights to save his honour after being shamed by her village, for his false conviction of criminal theft. Viki is haunted yet inspired by the Rotuman myth of the Warrior Woman, and her father’s trust in the Rotuman ancient belief that the land itself is vigilant and will eventually avenge any wrongdoing.

Directed and written by Hawai’i based professor, Vilsoni Hereniko, “The Land Has Eyes” is a story that is loosely based on his life growing up in Rotuma. On his return with to Rotuma, Hereniko went from village to village to tell the story and to receive their permission and blessing to film it there.

“I think The Land Has Eyes has the potential to make people more aware of our spiritual and enduring relationship with the land and to see the land as a living human being” says Herekino.

“For a year, they cleared land and built a set with homes, a community hall, a traditional boys’ house and a garden for Viki, protagonist of the story. Ninety-eight percent of the cast are Rotuman, the notable exception being internationally acclaimed Maori actress, Rena Owen (Beth in Once Were Warriors) who plays the Warrior Woman” says producer Jeannie Paulson Herniko

The feature is produced by Herekino Producer wife’s company Te Maka productions – who recently signed a contract with well known international sales representative Tony Kandah, President of the Hollywood Wizard, giving Tony Kandah permission to sell all universal rights to The Land Has Eyes excluding Oceania, where The Land Has Eyes is distributed through Ronin Films.

The Canterbury Fijian Community who are responsible for bringing the premiere to Christchurch were excited at the acceptance by Te Maka productions for the feature to be premiered at the Ono – Pacific Arts Festival

“This is an excellent opportunity for us to share part of our Fijian culture with Christchurch, through the film and the festival. We’re also very pleased that two of the three short films that the festival is showcasing is one by a Christchurch Fijian.” says Earl Simpson of the Canterbury Fijian Community.

“Talula Talula” and “Two” are both made by local film maker and actor Barbara Carpenter, with the other short film “All the Time” written and directed by Samoan film-maker Jerry Tauamiti.

“Talula Talula” produced by Pacific Underground returns to the Pacific Arts festival after it’s first screening at Fa-Pacific Arts in 2004. The comedy silent film has since been screened at Christchurch’s Belladonna Short Film Festival, twice at the Pollywood Film Festival in Auckland, and at a Polynesian film festival at Te Papa last year.


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