Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Film Raro to makes a comeback to the Cook Islands

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Soana Aholelei | Reporter / Director

Innovative film making project set to turn Rarotonga into production studio again.

In 2013 the Cook Islands became a film makers paradise with crews from around the globe descending on the Pacific nation vying to make a short film in just 10 short days

“We were able to bring six teams in from all over the world, from the US, Hawaii, England, Australia, New Zealand,” says Executive Producer and creator Stan Wolfgramm. 

“We shot six films. They went from documentary to drama, but we also were able to shoot two films that had a social impact.” 

Film makers had to use locals in nearly all aspects of production, behind and in front of the camera and this also included acting classes.

“We initially started off with… about 30 locals in the class. By the end of it we had probably 500 locals that actually took part in each of the different films,” says Wolfgramm.

This year the theme is ‘Live the Dream’

“We’re aiming for six groups and we’ll do another one with the kids and telling stories about the state of our ocean.

“And, you’ve got to make a ten-minute script that you can shoot in eight days and we’ll pay for everything,” says Wolfgramm.. 

“So we’ll pay for flights, we’ll pay for  accommodation. Our teams do all the props, we do all the casting, we do everything. We sort everything out. We sort out their meals, their transport, everything to come down and make a film for us.” 

While the government and some local interests are backing the project again, Wolfgramm says this time they also have a major sponsor

“The last time we pretty much had to do it off our own back,” he says.

“And we’re lucky that the likes of the – it’s called ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) EU grant, cultural grant – that the EU has recognised the value in supporting cultural development, the cultural industries and the creatives.

“If the films are good enough, which we feel they will, that they will take those films overseas as well, they’ll get back to Europe.” 

It’s a competition that the whole country benefits from.

“The whole island turns into like a studio for basically ten days. All the films are being made at the same time and all the locals are working on the films. 

“The films went around the world to festivals; Air New Zealand played them on board and the films then went to the Ministry of Education so that they could use them as learning material as well.”

You can find out more at: https://filmraro.com



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