Fiji’s efforts at promoting its magic abroad as a movie location may be finding their mark, with two major Bollywood productions featuring A-list casts scheduled to be shot in Fiji towards the end of the year.
At the same time, the recent annual TFL Kula Film Awards were evidence that an increasing number of Fiji’s young people are also attracted to what is still a young but promising industry, prompting the awards’ organisers to announce that next year’s event will be bigger and better.
The Kula Film Awards and the Fiji Audio Visual Commission (FAVC) dance competition concluded on a high note at the Tattersalls Leisure Centre in Suva at the weekend.
Schools took on tough subjects with their films, tackling issues such as rape in the entry, ‘Jaded’, which won Natabua High School three awards - best film, best actress and best script.
“The topic was main thing that made us win the award because it’s about rape which is the main concern to the people of Fiji. The way our actress and actors worked it out was marvellous,” said Natabua seventh former Mushava Ali.
Best actress Jade Whippy said it took the crew two months to add a lot of human interest to their production so that the audience could connect with the lesson behind their film.
“The story concept was great and we also had a good topic that is nearly an everyday happening, therefore we just showed some reality. I also made it clear on how rape could be ruin the reputation of teenagers,” Whippy said.
Natabua High School teacher Manzreen Buksh said they planned to feature something interesting again at next year’s Kula Film awards.
FAVC's manager marketing and public relations Florence Swamy said this year’s entries - a record 18 films - reflected the awareness that youths had of the issues affecting them.
In an article on the FAVC website, Swamy said the films were an outlet for youths to voice their opinions on some very topical issues.
The manner in which these views were articulated and presented through the short films showed the ability of Fiji’s youths to channel their views through creative media.
FAVC chairperson Sharon Smith-Johns said the film awards’ rating had improved consistently since the awards commenced two years ago.
She believed more people would be interested when more schools are involved.
“The Kula Film Awards and the dance competition is a new milestone in the evolution of one of Fiji’s newest and most exciting industries and this initiative to showcase the industry and our country’s budding talents is to be appreciated,” Smith-Johns...