Cook Islands plays host to filmmakers
Filmmakers head to the Cook Islands for the Film Raro challenge.
The Cook Islands is about to be overrun by filmmakers as the Film Raro challenge kicks off.
Teams are gathering in Rarotonga to make a short film in seven days, using local cast and crew.
The challenge is about protecting Pacific culture through film, and connecting Pacific filmmakers with New Zealand's film industry.
Its executive producer Stan Wolfgramm told Megan Whelan they tried to think of sustainable ways to preserve Cook Islands stories.
WOLFGRAMM: The sustainability came from us thinking, well, New Zealand has got the mountains and rivers and streams in their location portfolio, but they don't have a tropical location. So we, basically, approached Film NZ and we said, you should really look at the Pacific. There's actually a lot of filming that's done in the Pacific and it's very much a great location to offer to international clients. They said, yes, they had been thinking about the Pacific. And we said, the Cook Islands makes sense because it's part of the NZ realm, it's New Zealand currency, it's New Zealand passports, everybody speaks English. There's flights regularly to New Zealand and Los Angeles.
WHELAN: And so the teams are starting to arrive now, as you say, from all over the world. So what's it going to be like in Rarotonga for the next few weeks?
WOLFGRAMM: In my mind, this word 'bedlam' came out, but.... (Laughs) No, we've been working on it for quite a while now, so it's going to be an amazing event for the internationals, but also for all the locals that are involved. We are dialoguing with these teams now and most of them hadn't even heard of the Cook Islands. The guys coming out of Sheffield are coming out of the snow. The guys that are coming out of Los Angeles, New York, that's the Solomon brothers - the last film they made was The Conspirator, where they had Robert Redford, who directed their film. So bringing all that together is what it's going to be like. The Cook Islands, they're supportive. The whole island knows about the project and is involved with the project. We've got over 50 actors involved in the course, we've got 40 members in the course. We're bringing in around 60 filmmakers from overseas and then all the mums and dads and locations and everything else, so basically turning the island into a studio for two weeks. And at the end of it all, we've rented the local rugby stadium. We're brought in a big blow-up screen and a projector. We've invited the whole island to come and watch the film. So there's a lot of anticipation, a lot of people excitedon the island. We have to make those films now. We're screening at the Film Raro International on May 25th and that's kind of the climax for it all. And for the locals, we're pretty much sitting there saying, it'll be a different experience for sure. There'll be a lot of laughter and a lot of talking during the films. It's the first time they'll get to see themselves on-screen, so we'll probably have to show the films again 'cause they'll watch it the first time around.
To embed this content on your own webpage, cut and paste the following: