PNG filmmakers need more support
The director of Papua New Guinea's fifth annual Human Rights Film Festival hopes the event will boost support for local filmmakers.
The director of Papua New Guinea's fifth annual Human Rights Film Festival hopes the event will garner more support for local filmmakers.
Alithia Barampataz told Daniela Maoate-Cox the films often initiate discussion about tackling the country's human rights issues and she would like to showcase more Pacific-made films in the festival
ALITHIA BARAMPATAZ: Certain areas have specific concerns, for instance last year in Bougainville they included a theme on climate change which is a concern for them and here in Port Moresby we had a film on housing rights and forced eviction which is a big issue here but not as much of a problem in Bougainville.
DANIELA MAOATE-COX: So people in different areas have different concerns and they want the films that they see to reflect that?
AB: Exactly, so we have provincial committees in each of the provinces where the festival travels and they're the ones who help to advise how the festival will materialise in those chapters. But generally we choose topical human rights films, so this year we're looking at human rights in sports events, as Papua New Guinea is hosting the South Pacific games in 2015, and there are a lot of different places you can go with that, access to health, business and human rights, rights of persons with disabilities, this is a really interesting area to explore as well.
DM-C: There are a variety of topics that people want to see films about but are the films out there? Do they exist? How do you get the films to feed this demand?
AB: For the past four years we're the ones that do the research based on the themes and then look for the films based on the themes that are selected. But what we found last year is that Papua New Guinea and Pacific films really have a much stronger resonance with our audience here in PNG. People were able to identify by seeing issues that related to their lives so this year we're holding a call for submissions so that hopefully we can encourage more PNG and Pacific filmmakers to make films on human rights issues.
DM-C: How big is the film industry in the Pacific and in Papua New Guinea, are there a lot of filmmakers?
AB: This is something we'd like to highlight more and this year we've got the blessing of the Pawa Meri series which is a project by six PNG women filmmakers and it's highlighted how the film industry in Papua New Guinea really does need more support and we'd like to also see some inspiring stories about the really good work that a lot of people are doing here in PNG or some inspiring stories about you know, a day in the life.
DM-C: What is your main hope for the festival?
AB: Each year we're looking to see how we can engage more Papua New Guinean people and raise their awareness on human rights issues and encourage them to know what their human rights are but also through the panel discussions we try to have as much Government representation as possible so that they're able to engage on any of their policy or programming plans. The hope is that eventually the festival could be a recurring event taken over by one of the Government departments or local NGOs to continue to promote human rights in the country.
Alithia Barampataz says submissions are open until August 15th and the festival will start in September.
To embed this content on your own webpage, cut and paste the following: