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“We, the Voyagers,” Parts One and Two, win grand prizes

ANAHOLA — Since its global debut last summer, the Vaka Taumako Project of Pacific Traditions Society’s film “We, the Voyagers,” Parts One and Two, won international grand prizes and has been viewed around the world.

“In 2020 these films were shown in New Zealand, Chile, Maine, Cyprus, India, Pennsylvania, and were among the Hawai‘i International Film Festival entries screened at Kaua‘i’s Historic Waimea Theatre,” Co-producer and co-writer H.M. Wyeth of Anahola said.

“They have also had showings at universities, cultural centers, yacht clubs, museums, and other venues in California, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, the Solomon Islands, Tahiti, British Columbia, and throughout Hawai‘i.”

The films were co-produced and co-written by Dr. Mimi George, a sailor, and anthropologist, of Anahola. In collaboration with Jacob Penchansky, and edited by Serge Marcil of Lihu‘e. The films can be called local despite their primary location in the Solomon Islands.

Wyeth said both the International Maritime Film Festival in Bucksport, Maine and the Arkhaios Film Festival in Pennsylvania awarded them Grand Prizes. They won $1000 for their feature films and viewing on each contest’s websites.

“The award is the recognition that the jury valued this film over every film of the Arkhaios 2020 Official Selection,” Arkhaios Founder Jean Guilleux said. “The members of the jury use a two-page multiple criteria list to assess the relative value of the films. It is an honorific title awarded by the experts-in-their-fields Jury members. ‘We, the Voyagers’ got praised by both the Jury and by the Screening Committee members, who determine the Arkhaios Official Selection.”

Part I, ‘Our Vaka,’ also received an Ethnographic Distinction Award from the third Cyprus International Archaeological, Ethnographic and Historic Film Festival and a Special Mention Award for the Best Ethnographic Depiction from The Archaeology Channel.

“Most recently, the poster received an award from a film festival in Barcelona, Spain (too),” Wyeth said.

In 1993, while visiting the Polynesian island of Taumako in the southeastern Solomons, George met Paramount Chief and Master Navigator Koloso Kaveia, a member of the last generation of men and women who sailed traditional voyaging canoes using their ancestors’ ancient wayfinding methods, according to George.

George quickly learned that Kaveia’s people were in danger of losing their traditional knowledge.

Kaveia insisted that George and her assistants train young members of his community in documentary techniques, so they can portray their community in documentary techniques accurately.

According to Wyeth, these films are a rare opportunity to see how Kaveia and his people built canoes, the ancient way that may have been lost if not documented through the eyes of his people.

The film can be viewed at arkhaiosfilmfestival.org and at maritimefilmfestival.com.

Info: vaka.org/.
Source: The Garden Island

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