Pasifika Film Fest Rapid Growth | Pift Pacific Islanders in Film & TV


Pasifika Film Festival grows rapidly year on year.

The inaugural Pasifika Film Fest (PFF) that has brought a slice of paradise and culture to the silver screen goes on

sale this week with double the locations in it’s 3rd year of running with the addition of its first international extension due

to rising request from the industry & local community.

Announcing the celebration of content from talented filmmakers, the festival organisers have confirmed it will be run at

Event Cinemas in Parramatta and Campbelltown from 2nd – 6th November. The schedule also now includes Brisbane

from the10th-13th November in both Garden City & Loganholme Event Cinemas. The excitement continues with the

festival continuing to New Zealand early next year signaling the increasing demand in support of the arts of the Pacific


The festival showcases a variety of content that features various Pacific tales that express a varied amount of

storytelling told through the eyes of talented creatives from across Oceania.

Adding to the event for the first time is the Pasifika Pitch Fest. The invitation has been extended to candidates with

engaging island stories in the hope of finding the next up and coming talent registering through this initiative to put

forward their short film ideas in hope of gaining support for their work.

Pasifika Film Fest Founder and Director Ms Kalo Fainu said, “The festival exists as a platform for storytellers of Pacific

& Maori heritage to share their films on the big screen and have the opportunity to have their art seen by large

audiences. The PFF initiative is a place for the community to celebrate & take part in the diverse cultures of Oceania”.

The 5 day event will feature stories such as Blackbird, this poignant film by Amie Batalibasi is inspired by the untold

story of Australia’s Pacific Islander sugar slaves in the late 1800’s. Being Bruno Banani, tells the unique story of the

first and only Tongan Luger who managed to qualify in an amazingly short amount of time for the 2014 Winter Olympic

Games in Sochi. Bruno ‘the flying coconut’ will join Sydney audiences for the Australian Premiere on Opening Night to

share more of his incredible journey in a post-screening Q&A session.

Other big titles include POI E: The Story of Our Song, which became only the third NZ documentary to reach the $1m

milestone at the NZ box office. After its 1984 debut, Poi E reached No 1 and remained in the charts for 34 weeks, out-

selling Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The documentary-drama Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses, is a film that lifts

the veil of secrecy on what became known as “The Wainuiomata exorcism” to reveal the extra-ordinary true story of

how both love and fear could drive a New Zealand family to unwittingly kill one of their own.

Closing out the festival is Mercenary, the story of a young man of Wallisan origin who is scouted, purely for his Pacific

Island genetics, to play Rugby in France, only to discover there is a price to be paid for success. The film will be

complemented by the appearance of ex-NRL professional athlete Sione Faumuina who will share some of his own

story which is detailed in his soon to be released book, The Second Phase.

Sione pulls no punches, unveiling his own shortcomings for all to see, while also shedding light on aspects of rugby

league which reveal the code’s struggles with the new professionalism, and its failure to confront issues surrounding

the emergence of a tsunami of Polynesian talent.

Statistics show that in NRL, 44% are of Pacific Islander descent. Mercenary touches on the cultural and emotional

disconnect players of Pacific heritage may experience and unveils the cold truth behind success stories.

An individual highly involved in the Pacific community is NRL Welfare and Education Manager and Festival Co-

Director Nigel Vagana. He adds, “Once stories were passed down by elders. We fit perfectly into contemporary times

by harnessing film as a means of sharing Pacific stories and creating a link to our island homes and cultures by

encouraging those with talent to step forward knowing there will be a pathway for their stories to be uncovered and


It is this success in execution that sees the festival supported and highly anticipated by Pacific Island audiences both

in Australia and abroad.

– ENDS –


CONTACT: Sheryl Fenn 
Media & Communications

Mbl: +61 (0) 416978428

[email protected]


DATES: Sydney 2-6 Nov 2016

Brisbane 10-13 Nov

New Zealand – Feb 2017





02/11 – Being Bruno Banani (Opening night)

03/11 – Poi E, Te Mana o te Moana

04/11 – Little Coconuts (short films), Vanuatu Women’s Water Music, Belief

05/11 – Tales of Oceania (short films), Sons of Halawa, Little Coconuts (shorts), Being Bruno Banani

06/11 – Talanoa shirts (short films), Mercenary, Yumi Go Kale


10/11 – Being Bruno Banani (Opening night), Sons of Halawa

11/11 – Belief, In Football We Trust

12/11 – Talanoa Shorts (short films), Poi E, Being Bruno Banani

13/11 – Little Coconuts, Mercenary, Tales of Oceania, Poi E


Sydney 2-6 Nov 2016 Brisbane 10-13 Nov

New Zealand – Feb 2017