Padisa: “Gather to be heard”
Four years ago at the FIFO, several festival directors met to develop an idea: a grouping of the Pacific festivals whose objective would be to promote and help audiovisual production in this region. Today, a name was chosen, Padisa And the structure is taking shape. Meeting with René Boutin, Director of the New Caledonian Anuu ru aboro festival, and co-founder of Padisa.
FIFO: Could you explain to us the objective of this association?
The idea of an association of Pacific festivals emerged four years ago at the FIFO. That year, there was the presence of the Hawaii, New Zealand, French Polynesia and New Caledonia festivals. The goal: To exchange ideas on issues, on how to work together, and develop partnerships. For example, for the New Caledonian Aanuu ru aboro festival, we have developed partnerships with French festivals, but not with the Pacific even though our issues are similar. During our discussions, it emerged that we had each created a festival to say something. This is the time to come together to make our voices heard and to transmit our stories of the Pacific.
FIFO: Was it important to meet and unite?
By being united one is stronger. This is important when seeking international funds, so we can produce. We want to tell stories of the Pacific, by Pacific filmmakers and technicians. Clearly, the Pacific as seen through the eyes of its people. We want to highlight and form the locals. It is also our role as producers to teach the trades of the audiovisual industry. Training is very important. We want to create a fraternal bond between the people of the Pacific, and emphasize the value of individuals. Today, people of “knowledge” come from outside, they come to shoot in our regions, during a short period of time, the prejudices which they often want to illustrate, without direct access to the people. The voice of the Pacific is carried by these people, but these “exotic” stories have already been told. This prevents us from being diffused internationally. Today, it is necessary to treat the subjects in depth, over longer periods of time, and with less conformism. That requires local production.
FIFO: Where are you in the creation of Padisa?
We met two, three times during the FIFO. The association was created in 2016 in Auckland New Zealand, but it still remains informal. This year, we must go further and create the structure. We need members, an office, so we have to think about a place, the number of people, a website and how to exchange our data. We have to be able to exist as a true association of Pacific festivals. It is essential today because it is important that we build a true Pacific identity.
FIFO: What comes next?
Initially, we will share our data. The idea is that festivals throughout the world can go to the Padisa website, to see films of the Pacific and do its shopping. Our role will be to bring the people concerned together. On the one hand we must get together, and on the other facilitate access to the Pacific for those from abroad, and become a reference. We want to propose films, documentaries and reports with heterogeneous contents.
FIFO: Who is your target?
Our first target is the people of the Pacific because our history is similar. And, then, there is a large public demand to be satisfied. We want to translate into English and French to reach a broader audience. Then, we will focus on the international market and show real topics that address the problems of the Pacific, and not its exoticism. And some day, why not, also collaborate with European festivals and show films that won prizes, a guarantee of quality.