Wed, 03/06/2009 – Michel Fanton
One Television in the Solomon Islands screened ‘Our Seeds’ our one hour documentary, an unbelievable fifteen times. Fourteen repeats that is, at different time of the day so that the station would catch every type of audience. That is dedication… to the message we put out. Dorothy Wickham. She is the station manager in Honiara the capital.
In Pacific Island nations, chewing betel nuts or drinking Kava after work is not just the best way to make friends but it is also ‘the’ social way to do business. We show our latest baby ‘Our Seeds': It ends up on the box in all sorts of seemingly idealic places we travel to.
So far eight TV stations that we know of are screening the film and doing repeats. Why would they do that?…hum? well, I noticed that local contentin the Pacific islands is more or less rare and extremely expensive to produce. Showing subsistence farmers, at work and at play sends villagers hysterical. Everyone in the Islands loves to watch scenes that,’looks like us’. The film is screening widly: Two stations in American Samoa (capital Pago Pago), two stations -one gov. one private- in Western Samoa (capital Apia). In the Solomon Islands (capital Honiara) only one station exists and has very little local content hence the 15 repeats. Vanuatu the republic (remember the New Hebrides ou les Nouvelles Hebrides?) has just one government station that played it a few times when we were in Port Vila, and the two TVs in Papua New Guinea (PNG) screened it as well. Two million Papuan have access to a TV set according to PNG statistics there is only 30 000 TV sets. it is not unusual to see large family groups watching the box. There are 830 languages spoken in PNG. Did you know that?
Jude and I made sure the DVDs were hand delivered to more than one hundred government organisations plus civil societies, NGOs, hospitals, schools, universities, libraries, Rural Training Centres (these bush schools are for adolescents who need extra skills in outer islands). Some ‘training the screener’ techniques have been passed-on to the barefoot NGO officers now ‘screeners’. We now are preparing clips to also give to these organisations. Final Cut Pro 6 volunteers needed to edit footage.
The film has a Pigin English voice over option available.