Conference – Discovering Fiji’s Audiovisual Landscape

Florence SWAMY presents Fiji’s audiovisual landscape.

  • An Audiovisual Committee has been created to provide an all in one service for productions, whether for large format films, TV programmes or others. Also the creation of a sub-division of this Committee for funding issues (promotion of tourism, increase in business, development of infrastructures and above all the discovery of young talent …)
  • Strong promotional development: website; distribution of newsletters (5000 subscribers); participation and sponsoring for various foreign events; support for young people with local productions.
  • Great tax benefits for audiovisual productions, for example, an exemption of 47 % for documentary or short films, 150 % reduction for local investors with certain conditions.
  • A festival: Kula Film Awards was created in 2006 with a dance competition in parallel (fusion of dance and music).

The situation in Fiji is always tense in terms of freedom of the press.

Denis DECRAENE, the ambassador of France in Fiji, reports cooperation between 4 Pacific countries (Papua New Guinea, New Guinea, Tonga, Wallis and New Caledonia) in order to facilitate exchanges between these countries (regional integration, the promotion of French speaking communities, promotion of local cultures).

Several financial instruments in support of these projects: a budget from the French State (for local initiatives) and funding through Pacific funds (more focussed on audiovisual projects).

Shauna PITT from the Cook Islands announces her bitterness concerning the tactlessness of foreign teams who come, without warning her, to film, whereas she would prefer for her teams to be able to benefit from their experience and knowledge. Florence SWAMY informs about measures taken by her government which refuses all foreign teams for outside filming without authorisation.

Exterior teams who come to capture images of the culture and history of the islands should be supervised. Our own productions should be created and the programmes shared with the Pacific.

It would be interesting to create a bank for a mutual exchange of content. A decision in this direction must be taken. A proposal to take ‘pitches’ of programmes to FIFO 2013, to see where we are in terms of the quality and content of the productions.

Ken CLARK points out that ‘Commonwealth Broadcasting Association’ has already set up an exchange system. This initiative could perhaps be used as a template?