The Success of the OPT and Fun Zone Stands

Fun Zone 2These stands are new at FIFO 2015. The Fun Zone is open until Saturday and invites festival attendees to enjoy using four types of different games on iPads. The more serious OPT stand screens films from previous FIFO festivals.


‘Roll up, roll up, roll up!’ cry in unison Mataeva and Mehiti, the two pretty facilitators on the Fun Zone stand. Slightly reticent festival attendees don’t dare to enter the stand, so to attract them, the two young women launch into explanations about the different games provided by the Fun Zone. ‘So, you see there are four iPads and four different games,’ says 19-year-old Mataeva. Amongst them there is Dubsmash that has been immensely successful on Facebook since the start of the festival, ‘Do you speak FIFO?’ that encourages festival attendees to read a message in several languages, ‘Find your voice,’ a dubbing game, and, lastly, the unmissable ‘selfifo’ (FIFO selfie).


Entertainment at the Fun Zone


‘Are you ready? OK, I will take the photos. There, like that, is that OK like that?’ Mataeva questions one of the festival attendees, the first of the day to attempt a FIFO selfie. ‘No, no, I want to put my finger like this!’ replies Fara. Since the start of the festival, over eighty people have posed for a selfie next to the FIFO 2015 poster. A photo that the participants can find on the festival Facebook page.  ‘Oh this one’s great!’ emphasises Fara. ‘It’s entertaining and really fun,’ confides the latter before leaving the Fun Zone. A mother and her daughter take their turn on the stand, they have half-an-hour to wait before the next screening. ‘Go on, go for it, try Do you Speak FIFO,’ the mother suggests to her daughter. ‘Try it yourself,’ responds Hineroitea who doesn’t dare to try. Eventually, the young woman enjoys wishing, ‘Welcome to FIFO’ in Spanish. Before joining the 10.30am screening, she cannot resist doing a selfie, she poses with her hands forming a heart shape. ‘A great photo, it’s one of the best,’ encourages Mehiti, the young facilitator on the stand. A terrible threesome then arrive at the stand: Isa, Vaiana and Heia.  ‘So, what shall we choose: Fijian ? Arabic?’ asks Isa who is here to enjoy herself a little before returning to the FIFO village. ‘We are in the Pacific, so let’s go for a regional language…Come on, try Nauruan,’ suggests Heia. Isa plays along and generates laughter from her accomplices. ‘Excellent!’ they laugh in unison.


The OPT stand initiative to be repeated


Equally appreciated, the OPT stand strategically located next to the Grand Theatre, offers a screening room to festival attendees. ‘This is the first one, it’s an experiment!’ confides Heimata, watching the stand. ‘To begin with it took a while to take off, but now there is real interest.’ On a TV screen people can watch any of the thirteen films shown at previous FIFO festivals, from 2007 to 2014. It welcomes a daily average of forty or so people. ‘It’s a great concept! We can watch films that we missed in previous years,’ confides one of the festival attendees sitting on one of the seats on the stand.  ‘Some people discover films, other rediscover them! They all ask if the initiative will be repeated next year,’ confides Heimata still smiling. 45-year-old Toto shares this opinion. The father of three children is waiting for the next screening session at the Grand Theatre, whilst waiting he has come to the OPT stand. ‘Instead of going back and forth, I prefer to remain here and watch a film,’ he confides before adding: ‘This stand is a great idea, there should be more of them. The FIFO village will develop with this type of initiative.’


Suliane Favennec