SUNBIZ

Film Success Through Film Fiji

Some people when they hear about Film Fiji they think it’s all about the glitz and glam­our. But actually it’s not. It’s more than that. Film Fiji takes enormous care
10 Feb 2018 09:00
Film Success Through Film Fiji
Attorney-General and Minister for Communications Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum (centre), with chairperson for Film Fiji Shaenaz Voss (fifth from right), Film Fiji chief executive officer Dallas Foon (second from right), with guests of Film Fiji in Suva.

Some people when they hear about Film Fiji they think it’s all about the glitz and glam­our. But actually it’s not.

It’s more than that. Film Fiji takes enormous care and responsibility when marketing Fiji and ensures that all areas of the country get good coverage.

Film Fiji tells the world that Fiji is not just about beaches and the sea but that there is so much more in the country to explore, like riv­ers, jungles, mountains, waterfalls, historic towns, etc.

It is a major contributor to the country’s economic growth and to providing new opportunities to lo­cals to participate in.

Fiji is developing as a film indus­try centre and there is much more participation in the industry than previously – more people are being employed, more investment is be­ing done and much more services are being offered to support the in­dustry’s needs.

Film Fiji chief executive officer Dallas Foon said: “Film Fiji is tre­mendously fortunate and grateful for the very strong support from Government and the private sector in building the industry and taking it to new heights.

“But like everyone else, growth also has its challenges and Film Fiji is working with stakeholders to overcome these challenges and progress further.

“Thankfully, the challenges are being progressively overcome and progress continues at pace.

“Film Fiji has had significant success in marketing Fiji as a film­making destination.

“This has in turn led to strength­ening multiple folds the Film Tourism segment,” he said.

The growth in film productions and more importantly, the quality and distribution of those produc­tions to over a hundred countries around the world has greatly boosted Fiji’s profile in both the filmmaking destination space and the Film Tourism segment.

This success will continue to grow in 2018 with more produc­tions showing keen interest to come to Fiji.

Productions have brought sig­nificant economic activity to Fiji which has greatly contributed to Gross Domestic Productivity.

About Film Fiji

Film Fiji is the Government statu­tory body responsible for the devel­opment and promotion of the au­dio visual industry in Fiji.

To achieve this Film Fiji under­takes training and development programmes for Fijians.

As well, Film Fiji actively pro­motes Fiji as a film making desti­nation to international film mak­ers.

Development

The key development pro­grammes are the masterclasses conducted under the Film Fiji Academy banner and the develop­ment programme for high school students called the Kula Awards.

These programmes are specifi­cally designed to develop skill and passion for the industry.

Film Fiji Academy

The programme brings expert in­ternational trainers to Fiji to train locals in various disciplines in the industry.

Film Fiji has a network of train­ers from USA, Australia and New Zealand who provide specialised training in cinematography, di­recting, visual effects, sound, loca­tions scouting and other skillset based courses.

The aim of this programme is build up Fiji’s local resources so we can reduce the need for foreign productions to import foreign crew.

The training also gives Fijians new opportunity for employment and a career path in the audio vis­ual industry.

Kula Awards

This is the major development programme for high schools that runs over six months.

It is in its 13th year and is an ap­proved Creative Arts programme by the Ministry of Education.

The Kula Awards gives high school students an opportunity to participate in three streams – film, dance and art.

Students are put through a train­ing programme and then use their creativity to produce a short film or a dance routine or a piece of art, depending on which stream they participated in.

These are then entered into com­petition and judged by an expert panel. The best entries are award­ed trophies and cash prizes at a gala awards event that goes over two nights.

The programme gives students an introduction and a stepping stone into the audio visual indus­try should they wish to pursue a career in this industry.

Promotion

Film Fiji actively promotes the Fiji’s film industry locally and abroad.

The major activities undertaken are through industry exhibitions in USA, India and China, advertis­ing in various international me­diums, face to face meetings with industry executives, and through extensive social media platforms.

Film Fiji uses its extensive loca­tions galleries and sizzle reels to showcase the country to film mak­ers around the world.

To further attract film mak­ers, Film Fiji markets one of the world’s best incentives for film making which has proven success­ful in bringing many major foreign productions to Fiji.

Foreign productions bring large injections of foreign money into our economy in a very short period of time which:

  • Generates employment
  • Consumes local goods and services
  • Upgrades local infrastruc­ture
  • Utilises beautiful locations
  • Increases tax revenues
  • Increases GDP

 

But ultimately, tourism is the biggest beneficiary through Film Tourism.

When films shot in Fiji are shown in cinemas and televisions around the world, they showcase Fiji’s lo­cations and attract tourists who want to experience the beauty of the country – these are the funda­mentals of Film Tourism.

Fiji would need to spend a signifi­cant amount of money to try to get the same exposure that a success­ful film can achieve for the country.

Films put Fiji in the spotlight around the world and Film Fiji is very mindful of this and takes spe­cial care when approving produc­tions in the country.

It will not approve productions that do not portray the country in a positive manner and pays special attention to protecting its tourism industry and Fiji’s culture.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj



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