An Unbeatable Prize list

The prize-giving took place on Friday 15th February at Maison de la Culture’s Grand Theatre drawing this 10th FIFO to a close
: 5 documentaries gained the approval of the jury and public. A worthy prize list indeed representing a wealth of subjects reflecting Oceania.

That’s it! The 10th FIFO has ended but rest assured, put the 4th to the 9th February 2014 in your diaries for the eleventh. Greg Germain, chairman of the jury for FIFO’s memorable anniversary year, delivered a speech recalling the amazing ‘tenacity’ of this Pacific event ‘to secure such longevity. In addition it has formed a close relationship between Pacific Islands’ confirmed the new chairman of the new agency for the promotion of French overseas territories who will do his all, in his words, to value these ‘often difficult to export’ overseas creations which represent ‘tomorrow’s insurance policies.’ After speeches from the officials, Phil Cox, from the British channel CBA kicked off the process by giving a presentation of the training which took place prior to FIFO for 15 students from eight Pacific islands. It is a great initiative enabling budding film-makers to acquire more technical knowledge, thus opening more doors for them.

For the 1st year, a public prize to elect the best short film was introduced this year, and it was ‘Ebony Society,’ a short film from New Zealand full of humour which won it. The evening continued with the best pitch being announced and it was ‘The Test,’ a project from the Salomon Islands, which won it (100,000 CFP). They were pitching for the first time and were obviously delighted to receive ‘this price which is priceless.’

In turn, members of the jury and partners of FIFO announced the prize list and presented the different awards. ‘Canning Paradise’ received the Jury Special Prize, a memorable documentary which confronts us with the terrifying reality of industrial fishing in Papua New Guinea. The other two Special Prizes were awarded to ‘Allan Baldwin in the Frame’ and ‘The Road to the Globe,’ two films from New Zealand by the same producer. One of them is about the Maori treasures moko through unexpected framing whilst the other follows a young Maori theatre company seeking a Shakespeare of another kind, from another time. With no surprise but great enthusiasm, ‘Scarlet Road’ won the Public Prize. A reflection of the director Catherine Scott, this audacious and tender film tackles an invisible problem: the sexuality of people with disabilities.

To end, the FIFO 2013 international jury awarded the FIFO-France Télévisons Grand Prix to ‘Aux enfants de la bombe,’ a fascinating documentary produced from original archive images filmed by a soldier at the era of the Pacific Testing Centre from 1960 onwards. ‘A difficult film’ according to Greg Germain, who esteems that ‘nuclear power was the price to pay for the grandeur of France. May this type of documentary help this State crime to be acknowledged.’

The films awarded at this 10th FIFO confirm each in their own way, that FIFO has well and truly become a key platform to defend Oceanic culture.

On the spot reaction…Denis Pinson, co-producer (Archipel Productions) of ‘Aux enfants de la bombe.’

‘We were not expecting the Grand Prix, it is a lovely surprise. The strength of the film, beyond its subject, is that is it based on unique and original archive images. The film makers carried out investigative work for over 15 years. The history of the bomb is always a sensitive subject, but strangely, we did not have too much trouble finding funding. I hope that this film will give rise to new debates. The honour of the FIFO Grand Prix will generate better visibility and that in itself is very important.’