Welcome to the 15th Fifo!

The fifteenth edition of the FIFO is officially launched. The ceremony took place on Tuesday morning in the presence of officials, guests and organizers. To the beat of pahu and accompanied by an ‘orero, they arrived at the tent under rainfall. But, regardless of the vagaries of weather, the International Oceanian Documentary Film Festival will stay the course.

“Who had this crazy idea?” says Gérard Pruffer by way of introduction. As Director of Polynésie 1ère he hosted the opening ceremonies for the 2018 FIFO. Who came up with this concept that is “a melody of culture, of sharing and wisdom. This encounter that addresses the questions of who am I?, where do I come from?, where am I going?” It is the duo formed by Wallès Kotra, Executive Director of Overseas France and France Ô, and Heremoana Maamaatuaiahutapu, Minister of Culture. “Amazing Wallès! Amazing Heremoana!”

A magical moment

With the benefit of hindsight, Wallès Kotra presents the FIFO as “a magical moment.” An opportunity for encounters during which we are “happy to come together, to rediscover our land.” The oceanic universes are so similar and at the same time so distant from each other. “It is important and useful to hear the voices of those who suffer, to see the faces of those who stay in the shadows, to move ahead together towards the future.”

The Executive Director of Overseas France and France Ô also announces that the FIFO has been a source of inspiration and that he has participated in the development of broadcasting, as well as the producing and directing of documentaries. “This year we are putting in place a thematic series on people and lands, on biodiversity as well as unitary documentaries on the major events in history, including the World Wars. We will also do portraits of great men and have sheduled four 52-minutes on slave routes.” The FIFO recieves and gives.

Wonderful encounters to come

Édouard Fritch, the President of French Polynesia, believes that the FIFO is “a moment when our physical barriers fall, they are erased by the magic of documentaries.” As in previous years, he is looking forward to experiencing “stirring moments. We go from laughter to tears, we are moved by humanity, which is what we need most today. In the past, there was a flavor to life, now it has a cost.” Since the beginning of the adventure, he has been “astonished by the richness of the documentaries proposed” as well as “the wonderful encounters.”

The Secretary-General of the Office of the High Commissioner, representing the High Commissioner, René Bidal, also recognized that the FIFO “draws nations closer together regardless of the geography that distances them.” He confirmed the State’s continuing support of this event, “a symbol of tradition.” But he is not the only one, past partners have remained faithful. The FIFO is a stone that helps to build bridges between the Pacific territories, a stone to which humans can anchor themselves.

For everyone, politicians, guests, members of the jury, film enthusiasts, filmmakers, producers, the International Oceanian Documentary Film Festival is a delightful parenthesis. Happy FIFO to all!

FIFO / Delphine Barrais