Everything you need to know about “The Test, Chronicle of an Initiation”
Discovering what goes on behind the scenes of a film is the very essence of “Inside the Doc”. Meet the director and two producers of the film “The Test, Chronicle of an Initiation,” through the eyes of Wallès Kotra.
Adilah Dolaiano, the Solomon Islander director of the film “The Test, Chronicle of an Initiation,” inaugurated a new space for dialogue at FIFO on Tuesday, through the “Inside the Doc” meetings. For the first year, festival attendees have the opportunity to meet and discuss for a substantial time with the director or the producer of one of the documentaries screened during FIFO, or even the hero of the film. For this initial session on Tuesday, the festival attendees had the opportunity to discuss with the director Adilah Dolaiano, as well as with Anouk Ride, the producer from the Solomon Islands and Laurent Mini, the French co-producer. Wallès Kotra, the chairman of AFIFO, participated as the interviewer.
As its name implies, “The Test, Chronicle of an Initiation,” is the story of an initiation, of a challenge. But it is above all the discovery, for the new generations of Solomon Islanders, of a ritual that has not been practised for 30 years: the initiation to traditional skipjack fishing. For Adilah Dolaiano, there was a story to be told. “I am a native, but I had a western education. My search for my identity incites me to tell these stories. I had head about this initiation ritual but, like other rites, it no longer takes place. This was therefore an opportunity to describe an aspect of our identity. Searching for identity is, I believe, very present in the Pacific,” explains the director. But why a film? “I wanted to reach the others. Making a film is an effective way of telling a story isn’t it?” A story that only a child from the Solomon Islands could tell: “People from this island are very cautious regarding the exterior. I know that on several occasions they have refused to welcome foreign crews. But they were at ease with me, as they consider me one of them. They sensed that I would tell the story as best I could, as I come from the Solomon Islands.”
And to tell this story, the director and the producer Anouk Ride came to FIFO to perfect the pitch. In 2013, it even won the Oceania Pitch prize. “This film is a prodigy of FIFO,” Walles Kotra likes to say. For Laurent Mini, co-producer of the film, it was Adilah’s performance at the pitch in 2013 that blew him away and made him want to pursue the adventure with him: “Adilah had the motivation and the desire to make a great film. He really wanted to share his project.” Other support like France Télévision and CBA Worldview came to confirm the project. To respond to the question from the public: in what conditions did the filming take place? Laurent Mini specifies that, “the film was shot over a period of six months. In this film there is a notion of time and a notion of proximity.” Self-taught, the director particularly relied on the expertise of Laurent Chalet who worked on Luc Jacquet’s film, “March of the Penguins”. Then the time came for the editing, sound and calibration. “The island community indirectly participated in these stages, we communicated with them all the time, as I did not want them to be hurt by this film,” Adilah says. A concern that was quickly eclipsed by the screening of the documentary in the village: “the community loved the film, they laughed a lot”
For the French version, a narration was added and there is also an English version. Anouk Ride hopes to approach Pacific broadcasters today. “Our desire is really to show this documentary to other Pacific island states”, the producer insists. A member of the audience suggests that a shorter version is offered in an educational context: “In Australia, teachers love to show this type of documentary to their pupils. But a distributor is required for that. I can perhaps lend my support. ”From the initial project to the broadcasting of the film, FIFO is once and for all a fruitful place for meeting and exchange.