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SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Sept. 20) – Fiji’s first film which is vying for an Academy Award, The Land Has Eyes made a respectable $21,300 in its first week of screening here.

The film opened in Suva over a fortnight ago by Australian distributor Ronin Films.

Several films have been shot in Fiji, but this is the first made by Fijians that has achieved theatrical release.

The BBC reports the film will open in New Zealand on 10 November and in Australia one to two weeks later.

"Both countries have big Fijian communities and we hope to draw them out for this film," says Ronin's Andrew Pike.

The Fiji Audio Visual Commission submitted The Land Has Eyes in the best foreign language film category.

In order to qualify, the film has to be screened locally for seven days.

The Land Has Eyes is set in Rotuma, writer-director Vilisoni Hereniko’s homeland.

It tells the story of Viki (played by Sapeta Taito), a young girl who redeems her family’s name by exposing the secrets of her island’s most powerful and important people.

Shamed by her village for being poor and the daughter of a wrongly convicted thief, Viki is inspired and haunted by the island’s mythical ‘Warrior Woman’ (Rena Owen).

[PIR editor’s note: Author and filmmaker Vilisoni Hereniko is a professor at the Center For Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawaii. He is also editor of The Contemporary Pacific journal.]

September 20, 2005


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