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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (April 28, 1998 - PACNEWS)---The Solomon Islands government has reduced the fee it is charging film makers interested in covering the Melanesian Arts and Cultural Festival, to take place during July in conjunction with the country's 20th anniversary of independence.

In a report to media organizations, Festival organizers say they have reduced the fee for authorization to make documentaries by 50 percent, to $SI 2,500 ($US 534). However, in addition to the fee, a deposit of $SI 1,000 ($US 213) must be paid, although it is refundable provided three copies of the documentary are made available for use by the Solomon Islands government.

A $SI 1,000 fee for TV spot news coverage remains unchanged, and media representatives also will have to pay $SI 20 ($US 4.27) for accreditation passes.

The festival, to take place July 3-10, will feature dancers and artists from neighboring Melanesian countries --Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu-- as well as a display of traditional Pacific Island buildings.

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