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Archived News: August 2004

From Jeannette Hereniko in Honolulu (25 August 2004)

The Land Has Eyes will have two screenings at the upcoming Montreal World Film Festival:

Saturday, September 4 at 13h20  or 1:20 PM, and again on Sunday, September 5 at 17h00 or 5:00 PM.

Both screenings are in Theater One at the Parisien Cinema, located at 480 Ste-Catherine Street West in Montreal.

Individual tickets cost $10 and are on sale at all festival theatres. The festival theatres are: Cinéma Impérial, Cinéma Parisien, Eaton Centre Cinemas, 705 Theatre Maisonneuve, Place des Arts.

Booklets of 10 coupons for 10 regular screenings cost C$70 and the VISA booklets of 30 coupons for 30 regular screenings are C$180 (Canadian).

The MWFF catalogue (C$20) and the 2004 festival poster (C$10) are available during the festival at the Cinéma Parisien and the Theatre Maisonneuve.

The Festival Info line is (514) 848-3883, and the web site with complete information is

We urge all Rotumans who can attend the screenings in Montreal to please buy tickets in advance as there are only 157 seats in the theater and it is sure to sell out!

The Land Has Eyes is up for the best film from Oceania award. This award is given to the one the audience votes as the best. We are hoping that Rotumans will show up and support our nomination.

From Jeannette Hereniko in Brisbane (1 August 2004, posted 25 August)

We had such a fabulous screening yesterday (Sunday, 1 August) at the Brisbane Film Festival, with about 50 Rotumans plus some Fijians and several Torres Straight islanders who tell me that they have Rotuman blood, in attendance. I could definitely hear and feel their influence during the sceening and after-film discussion, making it very lively indeed!

Jeannette Hereniko (center) with members of the Rotuman community in Brisbane, Australia

From Fiji Times Online (24 August 2004)

Pierre Tomoniko finds his vocation 

This item has been transferred to the Life Stories section of the website

From Alan Howard in Honolulu (22 August 2004)

The Fiji contingent to the 9th Pacific Arts Festival, which included a number of Rotuman performers, has returned home with a great sense of accomplishment. The festival was held in the Republic of Palau from 22-31 July.

Rotuman dancer wearing woven mat

An interview with Letila Mitchell, who was the artistic director for the Fiji delegation, was featured in a Sunday Post article on 15 August. Among other things, Letila reported that:

"This is also the first time that Fiji ever showcased Rotuma’s culture on the international arena.

"It has always being the case of Viti kei Rotuma and little emphasis has been put on the saying itself.

"This trip saw fourteen Rotumans travelling with the delegation, headed by Reverend Emotama Pene."

Vilsoni Hereniko, who showed his film, The Land has Eyes at the Festival, reported that the Rotuman dance performances were exciting and well-received. In addition to the usual costumes of shirts and sulus, the dancers wore costumes made entirely of finely woven mats.

And according to a Fiji Times Online account (7 August):

Ratu Naiqama, who recently led Fiji's delegation to the 9th Festival of Pacific Arts in Palau, commended the dynamic effort of all the performers.

"The level of performance by our youth groups was certainly very high and professional," he said.

Ratu Naiqama said the locally produced movie Land Has Eyes attracted full houses and everyone admired the talent of the young actress Sapeta Taito even though she had no professional training.

Ratu Naiqama said the movie produced by Vilisoni Hereniko should be submitted for the world famous Academy Awards in Los Angeles next year.

The 90-minute film is the story of Viki, whose father is falsely accused of a crime, and her fight for justice on his behalf.

He said to qualify for the foreign language category at the Oscars, the movie that was shot on digital video, must be converted to print before the end of next month.

Ratu Naiqama said converting to print would cost $US40,000 ($FJ70,984.92) and the filmmakers had secured $US20,000 ($F35,492.46) from a willing donor but needed the other half.

He suggested Government fund the remaining $US20,000 because it would benefit the country as it would be screened in several countries.

From Fiji Times Online (19 August 2004)

ISLANDERS travelling from as far as Rotuma have arrived for the annual Methodist Conference that begins with the choir competition this weekend.

Malhaha circuit's Reverend Irava Fatiaki said from the island yesterday the church members, including the choir, left on Monday.

"Some have come for the conference, while the 22 members of the choir will compete in the singing competition. We will have our reps to the meeting on Cicia," Mr Fatiaki.

He said church members had been fundraising from the beginning of the year for the conference trip.

"We had our own fundraising activities among our circuits but last month we wrapped up our fundraising with a mini-bazaar where we raised $15,000."

From The Council of Rotuma (posted 7 August 2004)

The Council of Rotuma's Minutes for the meeting of 26 July 2004 (in the Rotuman language) are available in PDF format for downloading. Download PDF file.

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