blog / 2015 Pasifika Film Festival

Fri, 06 November, 2015

2015 Pasifika Film Festival

The Pasifika Film Fest - a celebration of films coming out of our region - wrapped up on Sunday! The festival brings stories from across the Pacific to Sydney audiences, aiming to encourage Sydney’s Pacific community to connect with their cultural heritage, visual arts and storytelling. Today we’re taking a look at films screening this weekend including our recently reviewed Vanuatu film Tanna!



In its inaugural year (2013) the festival screened feature length and short films from Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia, looking at the different issues affecting Pacific people in and out of their home countries today. 

You can purchase tickets to films and the closing night HERE.

Information on screening Venues can be found HERE




Fri Nov 6th 8.30pm - 10.30pm

Cinema 14, Hoyts Entertainment Quarter, Bent Street, Moore Park

IN FOOTBALL WE TRUST intimately portrays four young Polynesian football players struggling to overcome gang violence, family pressures and near poverty as they enter the high stakes world of college recruiting and the promise of professional sports.



Sat Nov 7th 2.30pm - 4.00pm

Hoyts Cinemas Blacktown, Westpoint, 4 Patrick St, Blacktown NSW 2148, Australia

Little Coconuts is a series of short films for kids, a great selection of stories selected especially for the younger generations and the perfect event for the whole family.

Films included in Little Coconuts are:

The Tale of the Coconut (PNG)

The children of the South Sea Island Karawara in Papua New Guinea, tell us an old legend from their home: The Tale of the Coconut recounts how the hunter Kenken-Ebe is left behind on a remote island. When he swims home by himself, a shark suddenly appears!

Islet (TUVALU)

Caught looking at naughty magazines, a thirteen year old boy must now navigate his way through the outrage of his ultra conservative South Pacific Island community. 

Dog Save the Queen (COOK IS.)

Back in 1972, when the queen visited the Cook Islands aboard Royal Brittania, one of her corgis got loose and busy with some of the local mutts. With the royal corgi bloodline facing certain extinction, the palace is seeking a descendant from that '72 romp. Nuka's world is turned upside down when his dog, Cyclone, is announced the winner of the 'Million Dollar Corgi Contest'. Torn between his dreams and family duty, Nuka must face the heartwrenching choice between cold hard cash and mans best friend.

Ow What (NZ)

Te Mauri is an old soul. Rather than joining his mates on the field after school, he sets about ensuring his brother and sister are fed, clean and up to date with their home work. Te Mauri's world is transformed when he makes a discovery one fateful night that will change his life forever. 



Sat Nov 7th 4.10pm - 7.00pm

Cinema 14, Hoyts Entertainment Quarter, Bent St, Moore Park NSW 2021, Australia

Tales from Oceania! A diverse selection of short films & documentaries celebrating the unique and wonderful people, places and culture of the Pacific region.

Films included in Tales from Oceania are:

Ike: Wisdom to Whisper (DCP) - 18 mins 34 seconds (TAHITI)

Ike is an adventure documentary film that highlights and contrasts both western and Indigenous perspectives on scientific research in local communities. Shot on location in Tahiti, this film looks to raise awareness about resource reciprocity for native and visiting peoples.

In Language (DCP) - 10 mins 12 seconds (AUS)

n Language is a poetic film based on the Motu language of the coastal people of Papua New Guinea. The stories and anecdotes are related through the voices of three PNG women, mostly in their mother tongue.

Falls (DCP) - 12 mins 41 seconds (AUS)

A woman traumatised by the loss of a friend contemplates the concept of loss as she sets out on a hike that the departed used to take as an annual birthday activity. 

Tits on a Bull (DCP) - 15 mins 53 seconds (NZ)

Set in a Maori womens Rugby team, Tits on a Bull follows Phoenix Tawhana, the young star of the team, as she struggles to choose between her long time friendship with aging coach Rusty or her new relationship with lesbian team-captain Melanie. 

Pawa Meri: Never Give Up - 27 mins (PNG)
Pawa Meri: Nevere Give Up is the moving story of community worker Gina Baidam from Serimambu village, 3 hours by boat from Daru in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea. We learn about the difficulties that pregnant women in this remote village face and Gina's ambition to change the situation for women and families in Serimambu. 


Keeping up with the Kau Haua (DCP) - 11 mins 31 seconds (TONGA)

Keeping up with the Kau Haua is a short film about the homeless alcoholics roaming the streets of Nuku’alofa. The term 'Haua' or 'Ha’u a' means, come back or come back home, it is enough roaming the streets.

It's not that they are homeless, they choose to live on the streets and beg. Keeping up with the Kau Haua looks at the oldest of them and a few of them with unique personalities.

Gambler (DCP) - 17 minutes (AUS)

Gambler tells the story of Ray, a retired Rugby League player who must overcome his gambling addiction to reform himself and repair his broken marriage.

Aho'eitu - 26 minutes 32 seconds (TONGA)

Based on the Tongan legend, Aho'eitu leaves his mother to find his father Tagaloa in the heavens. On his quest he finds out that he also has brothers, but will they accept him as their own? And will Tagaloa acknowledge his son, and who will take his place as his heir, the first king, the Tu'i Tonga. 

The trailer includes footage of Aho'eitu as part of the production Digital Fananga, which it is a part of. 

Ma (DCP) - 15 mins 31 seconds (NZ)
Ma is a story about a Samoan grandmother trying to survive being alone. She is strong-willed and tough but under the rock hard exterior is an old woman trying to endure what's left of her existence. Ma is about a woman's strength, weakness, love and humanity in a world that has almost forgotten her. 




Sat Nov 7th 4.30pm - 6.30pm

Hoyts Cinemas Blacktown Westpoint, 4 Patrick St, Blacktown NSW 2148, Australia

Groove City is a musical set against the life of Solmon Tumau, a reformed bad boy who is on a mission to steer his younger brothers and the youth in his community away from the path that he has walked and towards their limitless potential.



Sat Nov 7th 5.00pm - 6.30pm

ICE (Information & Cultural Exchange), 8 Victoria Rd, Parramatta NSW 2150, Australia 

Eleven year old Ho'onani dreams of leading the hula troupe at her inner city Honolulu school. The only trouble is that the group is just for boys. She is fortunate that her teacher understands first-hand what it's like to be 'in the middle' - the ancient Hawaiian tradition of embracing both male and female spirit. Together they set out to prove that what matters most is to be true to yourself.



Sat Nov 7th 7.30pm - 9.30pm

Cinema 14, Hoyts Entertainment Quarter, Bent St, Moore Park NSW 2021, Australia

In one of the last traditional tribes of the Pacific, a young girl falls in love with her chief's grandson. When an inter-tribal war escalates, the girl is unknowingly betrothed as part of a peace deal. The young lovers run away, but are pursued by enemy warriors intent on killing them. They must choose between their hearts and the future of the tribe, while the villagers must wrestle with preserving their traditional culture and adapting it to increasing outside demands for individual freedom. Based on a true story performed by the people of Yakel.

Winner of Best Feature Film 2015 Venice Film Festival. Read our post on Tanna HERE.



Sun Nov 8th 1.00pm - 2.30pm

Cinema 14, Hoyts Entertainment Quarte, Bent St, Moore Park NSW 2021, Australia

The Road to Home tells the story of Benny Wanda, the Nobel Peace Prize nominated Papuan Independence leader. From his humble upbringing in the remote highlands of New Guinea, through to his life in political exile in the UK, Benny Wenda's story is one that has inspired many.



Sun Nov 8th 3.30pm - 6.30pm

Cinema 14, Hoyts Entertainment Quarter, Bent St, Moore Park NSW 2021, Australia

KUMU HINA is a powerful film about the struggle to maintain Pacific Islander culture and values. It is told through the lens of a Native Hawaiian teacher who is both a proud and confident māhū, or transgender woman, and an admired Kumu, or cultural practitioner.



A full summary of all the fantastic films shown this year - with links to trailers - can be viewed on the Pasifika Film Fest website HERE.





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WORDS by Pauline Vetuna.

Image Credits: photos courtesy of Pasifika Film Fest.


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