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Oceania Film Festival Celebrates the People of the Pacific

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision is once again bringing Siapo Cinema (Oceania Film Festival) to Wellington. The film festival’s vibrant and eclectic programme celebrates the people and culture of the Pacific.

The film festival will run at the Archive’s Wellington cinema and café from Wednesday 20 September through to Saturday, 30 September with a programme that includes feature films, short films, documentaries, music, panel discussions and archival film compilations, along with live performances and creative activities.

Images from Siapo Cinema 2017 is courtesy of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Mishelle Muagututi'a, Documentation Archivist at Ngā Taonga and one of the lead curators of the Siapo Cinema programme says: “For the ten days of the Festival we’re turning our Wellington venue into a cultural hub where everyone can gather to enjoy Oceania’s creative treasures”.

We’re especially excited about the rich diversity of artists we have in the programme this year. One that we’re particularly excited about is acclaimed performing arts company, Pacific Underground. They’ll be joining us from Auckland and Christchurch for the Spring Silent Films – a specially-curated selection of film excerpts from around the Pacific, dating from 1907 through to the 1950s. This is the first time during the Siapo Cinema season, that we have invited musicians to support our silent films, and we believe it’s a collaboration that shouldn’t be missed,” says Mishelle.

Other highlights of the programme include:

One Thousand Ropes – a powerful and haunting feature film from director, Tusi Tamasese, about a father reconnecting with his youngest daughter.

Tupaia’s Endeavour – this is a special fundraiser and test screening of a documentary about Tupaia, the Tahitian high priest, who joined Lt. James Cook on his first Pacific voyage. A Q&A session with director, Lala Rolls and one of the documentary’s presenters, artist Michel Tuffery, will precede the screening and the audience will be invited to give their feedback. Funds raised will go towards the production of the final theatrical release.

Cinema Pasifika Shorts – an eclectic selection of short films from around the Pacific, that covers topics as diverse as hair history and lumberjacks.

Dusky Maiden Remix – a collaborative audiovisual work by Jamie Berry, Pikihuia Haenga and Leala Faleseuga.

A night in with Sima Urale – Arts collective, Kava Club celebrates New Zealand filmmaker, Sima Urale, with a film discussion, screening and a party to mark 21 years since the release of her acclaimed film, O Tamaiti.

Diane Pivac, Principal Curator at Ngā Taonga says: “Siapo Cinema is an important festival in our annual programme and one that is going from strength to strength. There is something for everyone in this year’s programme and we’re all looking forward to seeing our premises host so many outstanding artists.”

In the future Ngā Taonga hopes to take Siapo Cinema to other locations and there are already plans to take parts of the programme to Auckland.

Updated on 2nd October 2017