9th Dialogue: the Oceanian television stations get their heads together.

ColloqueThe Oceanian Television Dialogue aims to create regional synergy and implement shared projects. Nanise Fifita, a member of the Tonga Broadcast Commission wants to take it a step further to support the smaller countries in the region.

For nine years FIFO has been a rare forum for speech and discussion for regional television professionals through the meetings that take place at the Oceanian Television Dialogue. In partnership with France Télévisions, it is an opportunity for many small countries to break their isolation. This highlight of the year is highly anticipated, as it is unique in the Pacific. For Nanise Fifita, responsible for Tongan radio and television within the Tonga Broadcasting Commission (TBC), this first participation in FIFO is an opportunity to seek various support, and above all to pool everyone’s means and skills. During the symposium about large events in the South Pacific and their media coverage, in particular shared projects like the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea or the crowning of the King of Tonga were discussed. “On 4th July, we will share our footage of the crowning with Tahiti, New Caledonia, the Cook Islands and Fiji. It is exactly the sort of partnership that FIFO facilitates.”

However, Nanise Fifita would like to take it a step further still. “I suggested to Wallàs Kotra in particular to create a relief fund for small island countries. In Tonga, we are lacking in cameramen, producers and directors, so our production is very poor. But we do not have the financial means and we are unable to purchase documentaries and programmes. The Oceanian Doc Market is not accessible to us. ”With only two television channels and 8 hours and 6 hours of broadcast respectively, the programmes broadcast on Tongan television mainly come from China and Korea. “These are free programmes, but they have nothing to do with our concerns and interests,” emphasises Nanise Fifita. If the message has been heard, it must be recognised that it is not one of FIFO prerogatives for the moment. Nanise Fifita adds, “The importance of cooperating and sharing content is to preserve the cultural interest of the Pacific. It is important to preserve culture and traditions.”

To put actions into words, on Friday morning Nanise presented a short film about the tapa, during the symposium devoted to the Oceanian Doc Market. Perhaps one day Tonga will present a film in competition at FIFO. “I participated in Pitch Dating with a film project about the crowning. It was an amazing time, but I am coming back next year, I will be better prepared.” Nanise Fifita should however be satisfied already, it resulted in four contacts and exchanges by email are anticipated in the forthcoming months to continue with the adventure.

Alexandra Sigaudo-Fourny