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FIFO 2012 orders baker’s dozen from NZ

The Festival International du Film Documentaire Océanien (FIFO) has announced its 2012 line-ups, in and out of competition.

13 NZ films are selected for Tahiti, with six screening in competition and seven out. NZ films make up a third of the programmes, with Australia also well-represented.

A couple of multiple award winners from last year’s Doc Edge Festival make the cut. Joseph Paora’s Hiding Behind the Green Screen, which won Best NZ Short Doco and Best NZ Emerging Filmmaker screens in competition, as does Luigi Cutore and Mark McNeil’s I Am The River, which won Best New Zealand Feature Doco, Best NZ Cinematography and Best NZ Editing.

The other NZ competition entries are Kim Webby’s October 15, produced by Pietra Brettkelly, whose own Maori Boy Genius screens in the Berlinale just ahead of FIFO; Greg Hay’s 7 Canoes; and a pair of French language films: Laurent Cibien and Anne Pitoiset’s Génération Matignon and Brigitte Whaap’s Le Retour de Marius.

The NZ jury member will be Cushla Dillon, who edited two 2011 FIFO prize winners, Trouble is my Business and This Way of Life. At last year’s Doc Edge, This Way of Life shared the Outstanding Contribution to the NZ Documentary Industry award with Leanne Pooley’s Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls.

Out of competition, most of the films selected – from NZ and elsewhere – were originally made for TV. The NZ films are Russel Ali’s Keeper, Kathleen Mantel’s The Green Chain, Libby Hakaraia’s The Scotsman and the Maori, Ying L’s Bill Sevisi’s Dream, Pierre Deschamps’ Rugby, The Lifeblood of New ZealandKikki Si’ulepa’s Salat se Rotuma and a French language version of one NHNZ’s co-productions with France Télévision and Japan’s NHK, Brant Backlund’s Life Force: New Zealand.

The festival programme also offers a pitch session and a couple of side trips into the world of fictional filmmaking, with a special screening of Balibo and a night of Pacific short films.

NZ films have had good success at FIFO in recent years. As well as last year’s winners, Annie Goldson’s An Island Calling and Briar March’s There Once Was an Island have both taken the Grand Prix in recent years.

FIFO runs 6 – 12 February in Tahiti.

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