05-15 November 2020

Festivals & Events

HIFF Blog

October 20, 2019

HIFF39 PACIFIC SHOWCASE adds special VR focus on Aboriginal Indigenous Works

Along with our continued partnership with Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC) in presenting the annual HIFF PACIFIC SHOWCASE, we have added a new programming layer to this section with a focus in Aboriginal indigenous works in the Virtual Reality realm!

THE AUSTRALIAN DREAM: In 2013, Aboriginal Australian footballer Adam Goodes -- one of the greatest players to ever play the game -- called out an audience member of the crowd who called him an ape and had her ejected from the stadium.

Each year, the PACIFIC SHOWCASE brings festival audiences stories made by and about Pacific Islanders. For the 2019 edition, we have films from Hawai‘i, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Samoa, New Caledonia and Easter Island, just to name a few. Here are some highlights:

THE AUSTRALIAN DREAM: When Aboriginal football player Adam Goodes called out someone who called him an ape, he triggered a national debate that brought to the surface the dark heart of racism beating in contemporary Australia.

DARK PLACE: Australian genre cinema takes an exciting leap forward with DARK PLACE, a quintet of tales that approach postcolonial Indigenous history through the lenses of horror and fantasy, all made by filmmakers of Aboriginal origin.

MO TE IWI: CARVING FOR THE PEOPLE: At 82, Rangi Hetet is one of the last traditional Māori carvers alive today in an era that straddled the ways of the old tohunga whakairo (master carvers) and those of the modern world.

FOR MY FATHER’S KINGDOM: New Zealand artist Vea Mafile'o investigates why her father, who left Tonga decades ago for New Zealand, still insists on giving nearly everything he earns to the Tongan church, which has bewildered many of his family members.

EATING UP EASTER: Screened at last year’s HIFF, we are bringing back this film as a free matinee screening on November 7, as a case study for the PIC Mediamakers Summit on November 5. A native Rapanui filmmaker narrates to his son the modern dilemma of their people, descendants of the ancient statue builders, who are working to tackle the consequences of their rapidly developing home. Director Sergio Rapu will be in attendance.

HIFF VR INDIGENOUS PERSPECTIVES: How can new technologies help us tell stories that stretch back 60,000 years? Meet Nyarri Morgan, an Aboriginal man whose first encounter with Western civilization was an atomic test 50 year ago in COLLISIONS. Experience the rebirth of an ancient riverbed in BAYI GADIYA, transport yourself to the imagined futures of four Aboriginal young people in FUTURE DREAMING, or travel across the Australian continent with 150 traditional dancers in CARRIBERRIE.

STAN GRANT (PIC Trailblazer Award Honoree): Stan Grant is a Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi man, and one of Australia’s most-prominent advocates for Indigenous rights. A highly-accomplished journalist and scholar, Grant was a senior correspondent for CNN where he reported across the Middle East and Asia, and now writes regularly on international affairs. He came to international prominence in 2016 with his speech THE AUSTRALIAN DREAM, profoundly articulating the injustice faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in what was widely-lauded as “Australia’s Martin Luther King moment.” Mr. Grant will be awarded on stage, with other HIFF39 honorees at the HIFF Awards Gala on November 15. 

View the entire HIFF39 PACIFIC SHOWCASE section.


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