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PASIFIKA FILM FEST 2015 

PFF 2015 BEST BITS

FEATURE FILMS

BORN TO DANCE (NZ)

Tu Kaea, a young man from Papakura, New Zealand will do whatever it takes to realise his dream of becoming a professional dancer. 

 

"Born to Dance is a story about a young boy trying to fullfil his dreams but it's also a story about love and being challenged to be the best you can be." - Tammy Davis, Director 

TANNA (VAN)

In one of the last traditional tribes of the Pacific, a young girl falls in love with her chief's grandson. When an inter-tribal war escalates, the girl is unknowingly betrothed as part of a peace deal. The young lovers run away, but are pursued by enemy warriors intent on killing them. They must choose between their hearts and the future of the tribe, while the villagers must wrestle with preserving their traditional culture and adapting it to increasing outside demands for individual freedom. Based on a true story performed by the people of Yakel. 

 

Winner of Best Feature Film 2015 Venice Film Festival.

KUMU HINA (HI/USA)

KUMU HINA is a powerful film about the struggle to maintain Pacific Islander culture and values, told told through the lens of a Native Hawaiian teacher who is both a proud and confident māhū, or transgender woman, and an admired kumu, or cultural practitioner

VANUATU WOMEN'S WATER MUSIC (VAN)

The performers of the Vanuatu Women’s Water Music group hail from the remote northern tropical islands of Vanuatu. They travel the world performing the Na Mag and Ne Leang dances as a prelude to the mystical water music, dressed in their traditional costumes of Gaua and Mere Lava made from flowers and leaves, coconuts and pandanus. Their performance is truly mesmerizing as they reimagine the old with contemporary expressions of Matto - bringing together traditional beats and rhythms with ukulele-led melodies and soaring vocal harmonies. The Women's Water Music of Vanuatu is a performance that needs to be seen (and heard) to be believed.

THE SPIRIT OF THE ANCESTORS (RAPA NUI)

This documentary film is a journey in search of the lost Mana, an Easter Island statue of significant cultural importance. It explores the social and political landscape of the island of Rapanui as the people attempt to claim back what is rightfully theirs : Their land and a lava-rock image of tremendous presence, representing one of the world's most extraordinary cosmological views.

IN FOOTBALL WE TRUST (USA)

IN FOOTBALL WE TRUST intimately portrays four young Polynesian football players struggling to overcome gang violence, family pressures and near poverty as they enter the high stakes world of college recruiting and the promise of professional sports.

 

“Engaging...a reflection on the common experience of readjusting one’s youthful dreams.” - VARIETY

 

Viewer discretion advised

THE LAST SAINT (NZ)

Minka is a teenage polynesian boy living in the heart of the city. With his meth addicted Mum well on the way to going completely off the rails, three people enter his life- each with a promise, each with the power to destroy.

 

Viewer discretion advised

THE ROAD TO HOME (WEST PAPUA)

The Road to Home, tells the story of Benny Wenda, the Nobel Peace Prize nominated Papuan Independence leader. From his humble upbringing in the remote highlands of New Guinea, through to his life in political exile in the UK, Benny Wenda's story is one that has inspired many. 

TEP TOK (AUS)

Tep Tok follows four women of PNG and Australian descent as they explore tattooing traditions which take them on a journey from Australia and across the Pacific. 

This life changing journey for the four filmmakers takes the viewer through Pasifika cultures with the hope of breathing life back into the dying art practised by their grandmothers. 

JILEL: THE CALLING OF THE SHELL (MARSHALL ISLANDS)

Jilel is the story of Molina, a young Marshallese girl who is confronted for the first time with the idea that her island - her beloved homeland - is vanishing because of the rising seas caused by worldwide global warming and how she turns the tides of doom. 

GROOVE CITY (NZ)

Groove City is a musical set against the life of Solmon Tumau, a reformed bad boy who is on a mission to steer his younger brothers and the youth in his community away from the path that he has walked; and towards their limitless potential. 

Shorts

THE TALE OF THE COCONUT (PNG)

TITS ON A BULL (NZ)

The children of the South Sea Island Karawara in Papua New Guinea, tell us an old legend from their home: The Tale of the Coconut recounts how the hunter Kenken-Ebe is left behind on a remote island. When he swims home by himself, a shark suddenly appears!

OW WHAT! (NZ)

Set in a Maori womens Rugby team, Tits on a Bull follows Phoenix Tawhana, the young star of the team, as she struggles to choose between her long time friendship with aging coach Rusty or her new relationship with lesbian team-captain Melanie. 

Te Mauri is an old soul. Rather than joining his mates on the field after school, he sets about ensuring his brother and sister are fed, clean and up to date with their home work. Te Mauri's world is transformed when he makes a discovery one fateful night that will change his life forever. 

MA (NZ)

Ma is a story about a Samoan grandmother trying to survive being alone. She is strong-willed and tough but under the rock hard exterior is an old woman trying to endure what's left of her existence. Ma is about a woman's strength, weakness, love and humanity in a world that has almost forgotten her. 

FALLS (AUS)

A woman traumatised by the loss of a friend contemplates the concept of loss as she sets out on a hike that the departed used to take as an annual birthday activity. 

A PLACE IN THE MIDDLE (HI/USA)

Eleven year old Ho'onani dreams of leading the hula troupe at her inner city Honolulu school. The only trouble is that the group is just for boys. She is fortunate that her teacher understands first-hand what it's like to be 'in the middle' - the ancient Hawaiian tradition of embracing both male and female spirit. Together they set out to prove that what matters most is to be true to yourself. 

DOG SAVE THE QUEEN (COOK IS.)

Back in 1972, when the queen visited the Cook Islands aboard Royal Brittania, one of her corgis got loose and busy with some of the local mutts. With the royal corgi bloodline facing certain extinction, the palace is seeking a descendant from that '72 romp. Nuka's world is turned upside down when his dog, Cyclone, is announced the winner of the 'Million Dollar Corgi Contest'. Torn between his dreams and family duty, Nuka must face the heartwrenching choice between cold hard cash and mans best friend. 

IKE: WISDOM TO WHISPER (TAHITI)

ISLET (TUVALU)

Caught looking at naughty magazines, a thirteen year old boy must now navigate his way through the outrage of his ultra conservative South Pacific Island community. 

Ike is an adventure documentary film that highlights and contrasts both western and Indigenous perspectives on scientific research in local communities. Shot on location in Tahiti, this film looks to raise awareness about resource reciprocity for native and visiting peoples. 

AT HOME WHILE AWAY

(FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA)

At Home While Away tells the stories of 8 migrants from Micronesia who have traveled thousands of miles to seek a better life for themselves and their families. Told in their own voices, the documentary presents a contrasting view to the negative media coverage of the Micronesian experience in Hawaii and the US mainland. The film asks viewers to consider the definition of success from a perspective that places great value on family and community. 

IN LANGUAGE (AUS)

In Language is a poetic film based on the Motu language of the coastal people of Papua New Guinea. The stories and anecdotes are related through the voices of three PNG women, mostly in their mother tongue

SONNY MOSES (FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA)

One of the untold stories of Micronesian migration is that many islanders have made the ultimate sacrifice for the US. This short film brings viewers to the island nation of Palau for the funeral of a young Palauan named Sonny J. Moses, a US army sergeant who was killed in action in Afghanistan. 

KEEPING UP WITH THE KAU HAUA (TONGA)

Keeping up with the Kau Haua is a short film about 

the homeless alcoholics roaming the streets of Nuku’alofa. 

The term 'Haua' or 'Ha’u a' means, come back or come 

back home, it is enough roaming the streets.

 

It's not that they are homeless, they choose to live on the streets and beg. Keeping up with the Kau Haua looks at the oldest of them and a few of them with unique personalities.

PAWA MERI: NEVER GIVE UP (PNG)

Pawa Meri: Never Give Up is the moving story of community worker Gina Baidam from Serimambu village, 3 hours by boat from Daru in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea. We learn about the difficulties that pregnant women in this remote village face and Gina's ambition to change the situation for women and families in Serimambu. 

AHO'EITU (TONGA)

Based on the Tongan legend, Aho'eitu leaves his mother to find his father Tagaloa in the heavens. On his quest he finds out that he also has brothers, but will they accept him as their own? And will Tagaloa acknowledge his son, and who will take his place as his heir, the first king, the Tu'i Tonga. 

 

The above trailer includes footage of Aho'eitu as part of the production Digital Fananga, which it is a part of. 

 

Parental guidance for children advised

GAMBLER (AUS)

Gambler tells the story of Ray, a retired Rugby League player who must overcome his gambling addiction to reform himself and repair his broken marriage.

 

Parental guidance for children advised

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