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PAPEÉTE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, Jan. 12) - The 2nd International Oceania Documentary Film Festival will be held in Tahiti from January 26-29, featuring 37 films.

There will be fewer films in French and more in English than last year, according to the organizers--the French Audiovisual Communications Institute (FIFO), Radio France Overseas (RFO) the Tahitimodels Agency and the Papeete Cultural Center. All of the films will be shown at the cultural center.

The film festival program was announced Tuesday, when the organizers also presented last year’s jury grand prize to film director Jean-Michel Corillion, who could not attend the 2004 awards ceremony.

"FIFO wants to meet two objectives," said Wallès Kotra, departing RFO Polynésie regional manager. The first objective is "to travel to all parts of the Pacific by placing them before the Polynesian public." The second objective, he said, is "to incorporate all goodwill to develop this kind of documentary so that the Pacific has a greater existence in the audiovisual landscape."

And he added, "We want to establish this local event, giving it a regional and, if possible, a national dimension."

Pierre Ollivier of Tahitimodels noted, "We received films sent by some 50 production houses, of which a quarter are Anglo-Saxon in origin." The total number of films submitted for consideration totaled 80, the organizers announced last year.

Since FIFO aims at becoming a crossroads for documentary films in the heart of the Pacific, the festival is becoming a meeting place for professionals from throughout Oceania.

The jury is once again headed by Hervé Bourges, chairman of the Union of the French-Speaking Press and also known for having been chairman of the French High Audio-Visual Council after having been head of France-Télévisions.

The rest of the members of the jury reflect the Oceania impact. New Zealand actress Rena Owen, who starred in the 1995 movie "Once Were Warriors" and has appeared in Star Wars Episodes II and III, is a member of the jury. She is joined by Walter Zweifel, Radio New Zealand International editor; Véronique Cayla, general manager of the Cannes Film Festival; Tia Bareth, the New Zealand governor general’s first secretary; and Octave Tonga, head of the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center in New Caledonia. Five personalities from French Polynesia are also jury members.

"Compared with last year, the films cover the same geographical area, but the approach is more interesting," Michelle De Chazeaux, a member of the pre-selection jury said last November after the 20 films were chosen for the competition. "One feels an opening, a diversity of very interesting topics."

The 20 chosen films are divided into two categories--documentaries of less than 30 minutes each and films longer than 30 minutes each. As for the 17 films not in competition, the jury will award a "Public Prize" for the best film.

January 13, 2005

Tahitipresse: www.tahitipresse.pf

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