The inaugural Pasifika Film Fest (PFF) brings a slice of paradise to the silver screen at HOYTS Entertainment Quarter (and HOYTS Blacktown) in Sydney from 4-8 November, 2015 with a celebration of life and culture of the Pacific Island nations.
Featuring various Pacific Island cultures that are intertwined in immersive storytelling, traditional and contemporary dance and the brilliance of arts, the Pasifika Film Fest brings to life unique content, as seen through the eyes of the native Pacific Islander.
This five-day extravaganza will feature hip-hop dancers; women in traditional dress, making amazing music through simple water drumming; Pacific Island men with aspirations to play in the NFL against all odds and so much more. Follow the journey of an old Samoan woman as her changed circumstances and livelihood forces her to take matters into her own hands in today's harsh world.
A film not to be missed on the big screen on Friday 6 November is "In Football We Trust". Portraying the lives of four young Polynesian football players struggling to overcome violence, family pressures and poverty as they enter the high stakes world of college recruitment and professional sports.
NRL Welfare & Education Manager and festival Co-Director Nigel Vagana says, "The highs and lows of the journeys depicted in this particular film are not dissimilar to many of those in the game. For those behind the lenses of other short stories, participation in the entire film festival forms a good basis for leadership, expression and pride."
The night will also include a special conversation with NRL player Suaia Matagi on his personal journey to become a professional athlete.
The Pasifika Film Fest has been created to inspire, educate and introduce Pasifika stories to both the Pacific and Australian communities in a way that profiles the distinctive cultures and bringing them to life on the big screen.
Pasifika Film Fest Founder and Director Ms Kalo Fainu said, "It's an incredible achievement for the Pacific Island community and a chance to celebrate and support the growth of Pasifika people and their stories on the big screen."
The opening night (4 November) promises to be an extravaganza that celebrates the success of the Pacific Island people with "Born To Dance". A coming-of-age tale told through the eyes of Tu, an ambitious young man from Auckland who dreams of being a professional dancer. Australian Idol winner, Stan Walker plays Benjy, one of Tu's friends from Papakura as they explore the challenges that life throws at them.
Choreographed by Parris Goebel, who has in the past worked with the likes of Jennifer Lopez on tour and appeared in 2014 Hollywood dance film Step Up All In says, "I am very excited to be part of this festival, New Zealand is one of the biggest hip-hop dance nations and it will be awesome to get our story and our dancers showcased to an international audience."
The festival closes on Sunday 8 November with Kumu Hina a powerful film about the struggle to maintain Pacific Islander culture and values, told through the lenses of a Native Hawaiian teacher who is both a proud, confident mahu (transgender woman), and an admired kumu (cultural practitioner). Embracing diversity and unity the Pasifika Film Fest concludes five special days with more dancing and a fashion parade including the most glamorous of Sydney's Pasifika transgender community.