PR: Pasifika Film Fest Inaugural Debut in Aotearoa | Pift Pacific Islanders in Film & TV

February 14, 2017

13th February 2017The Pasifika Film Fest (PFF) debuts in Aotearoa/NZ, bringing culture, heart and a slice of paradise to the silver screen.With the increased demand in support of the arts within the Pacific nations, the film festival organisers hope to inspire and empower the Pacific community in its 4th year. PFF showcases content that features eclectic Pacific tales told through the eyes of talented creatives within Oceania. The festival’s films seek to help people and challenge perceptions, raising awareness about issues that affect communities within the Pacific.Announcing the celebration of content from talented filmmakers, festival organisers have confirmed the opening on February 15th at Queen Street in Auckland. The festival’s other venues include the Manukau and Westgate Event Cinemas, running from 15th-19th 2017. Wellington will also embrace the festival at the Embassy Theatre from 22nd-26th February.Opening night will feature Kumu Hina, a film about a transgender Hawaiian teacher who inspires a girl to lead the school’s male hula troupe. This film will run alongside Gay Pride Festival which is running until the 26th February. The event also includes films Being Bruno Banani, Mercenary, and A Piece of the Cake (Yumi Go Kale), which premieres in New Zealand.

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. Mercenary is 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. Mercenary touches on the cultural and emotional disconnect players of Pacific heritage may experience and unveils the cold truth behind success stories. A Piece of the Cake (Yumi Go Kale) portrays the struggle to find work and survive within the growing urban poverty of the Pacific. Other films include: In Football We Trust, Sons of Halawa and Te Mana O Te Moana (an industry event in Wellington), The Spectacular Imagination of the Pohara Brothers, Boy Strikes Back, Maisa the Chamoru Girl Who Saves Guahan, Slingshot, Blackbird, Forgotten Dawn Children, Smiths Ave, The Promise of Piha, Adorn, Two Steps Behind, Falevai Flava, The Chiefs Speech (To the United Nations), Karroyul, i Matai, Kumu Hina, Mele Murals, and Tep Tok. The short film category will highlight a large contingency of New Zealand filmmakers and actors.

Premiering on Friday February 17th at Westgate is Mele Murals tells the story of indigenous Hawaiian street artists transforming youth within the community through graffiti.

Pasifika Film Fest Founder and Director Kalo Fainu notes, “The festival exists as a platform for storytellers of Pacific & Maori heritage to share their films on the big screen and to 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”. Passionate about the Pacific community, NRL Welbeing and Education Manager and Festival Co-Director Nigel Vagana adds, “It has been an awesome journey the last few years. I am really excited to bring it to NZ especially my hometown, Auckland. This is an opportunity to support, empower and showcase our talented film makers & artists across the world. This is something I am really proud of as it has the ability to tell stories that were passed down by the elders”.

The festival runs from 15th-19th February (Auck) and 22nd – 26th (Wellington) 2017 and began in Sydney in 2013.

PASIFIKA FILM FEST AUCKLAND & WELLINGTON FEB 2017 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Media & Communications Mbl: +6421924026 +6424445839 +61 (0) 416978428 [email protected] w: f: i: @pasifikafilmfest t: @pasifikafilms Auckland 15 – 19 February 2017