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From the Lord of the Rings to the Cook Islands

Press Release 25 October 2012

From the Lord of the Rings to the Cook Islands

Writer / Director David Gould, who previously worked on The Lord of the Rings trilogy, has been selected by Film Raro as its first film challenge participant.

David and his team of film colleagues, also with prestigious film credentials including Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, King Kong, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, have been chosen from hundreds of entries to travel to the south pacific paradise of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands to take part in a film challenge like no other.

In a bid to aid social and economic development, international film crews have been challenged to mentor local Cook Islanders in the craft of filmmaking.

Professionals and locals will combine to shoot, edit and deliver a festival of short films in just seven days. At the end of filming, the whole island will be welcomed to the Film Raro International Film Festival where each film will screen to an audience of its harshest critics before travelling to film festivals around the world.

“The team is absolutely thrilled to have been selected. We know what it is to have a passion for filmmaking and we also understand the benefits that filmmaking can bring to the people of the Cook Islands from business to tourism to cultural preservation. We look forward to sharing our knowledge,” says David.

After months of waiting Film Raro is now an incredible reality for David and his crew who include co-producer Raquel Sims, director of photography David Paul, sound recordist Benoit Hardonniere, and 1st assistant camera Matt Tuffin.

David is not new to accolades having won the Best Director Award and Best New Film Award at the Australian Screen Industry Awards 2011. He also won the Sydney International Animation Festival 2010 and the In The Bin Cart-Orts Film Festival 2010.

How does Film Raro fit in to his agenda? Well it turns out David has always had a soft spot for the Cook Islands.

“My co-producer Raquel is part Cook Is so has family ties there. As for me, well, my wife and I eloped to the Cook Islands to get married, so for us we have a very fond and personal connection to Rarotonga. We were completely taken by its beauty and rich culture and I’ve often looked at the possibility of making a film there. Film Raro is an amazing project and presents us with an excellent opportunity to help bring to the world the beauty of Rarotonga and its people,” says David.

Not giving too much away David’s film ‘The Seed’ is a moral tale about a young boy who arrives on the island and is touched by the warmth and compassion of the people. His island trip gives him a greater understanding of trust and acceptance.

Film Raro’s Executive Producer Stan Wolfgramm says, “We are very pleased to name David and his team as our first film crew. He’s written a story that not only the audience of the Cook Islands will appreciate but also audiences around the world.
David also brings a passion and desire for filmmaking, shared by his team that will help mentor and inspire locals. He’s also not afraid to work hard, take risks and deliver. These are the attributes needed for future Cook Island filmmaker to succeed. The Film Raro team look forward to extending our Cook Islands hospitality to David and his crew as we work together to create history.”

The inaugural Film Raro event is scheduled for May 2013.

Film Raro is still taking entries of all genres; doco, music vids etc at


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