Oceania’s mission FIFO is open!

La chorale du FIFO

FIFO officially opened its doors on Tuesday 3rd February. At 8am, officials, jury members, professionals and other guests shared this very convivial time.

“Fifo, fifo, fifo, fifo!” the FIFO anthem permeated the Maison de la culture paepae, a persistent, joyful, determined and dynamic anthem reflecting the festival. On Tuesday morning, the officials, the jury, the audiovisual professionals and many guests gathered together for the official festival opening ceremony. The speeches quite casually followed in succession conveying a clear message, to make the Festival Oceania’s mission, to make the festival a place for sharing. “When you consider what is going on around us in the world, it is a privilege to feel good together, like this morning. Together sharing images, projects and speeches”, emphasises Wallès Kotra, the chairman of AFIFO (the association organising the festival). Manouche Lehartel, pointed out, on behalf of the Mayor of Papeete, Michel Buillard, that in the past Oceanians met and discussed together much more easily than today: “At the moment FIFO serves as a gateway between Oceanic countries,” she concludes.

The President of the country, Edouard Fritch, follows this up with, “FIFO has become a significant force for Oceanians,” also recalling that the Festival is a major cultural event for French Polynesia and states ironically the fact that the festival has always been approved unanimously by the different successive governments in recent years. It is undoubtedly because FIFO “makes Oceania visible in all its diversity and complexity. (…) With a perspective that is at times tender, at times critical. FIFO’s strength is also to reduce the tense atmosphere surrounding difficult subjects.” An idea that the High Commissioner of the Republic in French Polynesia, Lionel Beffre is in agreement with. He emphasised that participating in FIFO, “means learning about major issues in society.”

A gateway, a mission and sharing, but it also has the ability to plan for the future. For Michel Kops, director of Outremers 1ères within France Télévisions, FIFO’s message is also to adopt new technology: digital and future television will have an important place in this festival. “It is in perspective,” he confirmed in his speech. A meeting place for professionals, here again it’s about openness to the world, sharing of knowledge and of networks.

The last word was granted fittingly to a professional, to the director and chairman of the jury Jan Kounen. He also confirmed: “the festival has not yet begun, but it is already a wonderful adventure”. Several days earlier he who discovered the sharks and the rays in our lagoons, exclaimed in marvel, “I have never been part of a festival in this way, by throwing myself into this very powerful nature.” And he has already been swept away by the energetic chant Fifo.“Fifo, Fifo, fifo, fifo!”

Alexandra Sigaudo-Fourny