FIFO film festival.

We have just had the annual FIFO film festival 02-10 February 2019. Venue : La Maison de la Culture in Papeete, Tahiti.

Described as :

“A Festival with a thousand faces, the FIFO once more offers a remarkable program: 14 films in competition, 26 non competing films, projections, meetings, workshops and other surprises await you in the FIFO village. With its debut in 2018, this year the Fenêtre-sur-courts films selection proposes 11 short documentaries that offer an alternative view of Oceanian lives..”

This popular international festival has captivated a large public audience all week. For 1000 xpf (10$) you can spend a whole day and evening watching cultural films and documentaries contributed by many Pacific Islands from vast Australia to tiny Kiribati .

I went on the final day to see the winning films and documentaries.

In the morning I was in the Grand Theatre and afternoon in the Little theatre. There were some excellent films but the experience is quite exhausting.

I spent 90 minutes on the edge of my seat, watching a documentary about a group of research scientists diving at night with hundreds of sharks in the Fakarava South Pass in the Tuamotus French Polynesia. The filming was fantastic but graphic. We have dived with those sharks in the daytime in the Fakarava pass. Had I realised how they feed at night there’s no way I would have done that. As the film ended, I had broken out into a sweat despite the freezing cold air conditioning. I decided to miss the last film and headed back to the marina. All in all it had been a brilliant day at the FIFO film festival.

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Heiva fever

We’ve just had the Heiva – Tahiti 2018 competition. The highlight of the year as far as Polynesian dancing goes.

The competition was held in the Place To’ata in Papeete, Tahiti.

Hundreds of people were involved. Groups from around French Polynesia had been training to perfect their dance movements for months.

Rehearsal time in the Place To’ata

It was not just the dancing that was awesome.

The music, choreography and the costume designs were wonderful too.

So many hours had been dedicated by each team member and their families, to produce a mesmerising and enthralling spectacle.

Competition was fierce, I would hate to have been one of the judges.

The heats were held on eight separate evenings over several weeks. Each event started in the dark at 6pm and finished at 11pm.

I went to two of the evening events, the latter being the lauréats or first prize winners.

Heiva is for the Polynesian people but tourists are welcomed . Tourists will always be the quiet observers and should feel honoured, to embrace the flamboyant fever of Heiva.

Rapa Nui


We recently spent a week on Rapa Nui (Easter Island). I would say that “It’s a small island with lots of big stuff.”


 

As lover of flowers, I got a real wow factor from the size of the hibiscus and poinsettias. The flower heads were truly huge.

Even our Lei garlands, presented as a welcome at the airport, were rather grand.

On route to the famous Rano Kau crater

We hiked through a meadow of flowers creating the impression of stepping through an enormous deep pile yellow carpet.

The trees created a striking canopy of orange flowers.

All in all the flora was rather lovely.

Many large dogs roam around the island. The’re wild but friendly. They chase cattle, horses and cars,. Consequently, many of them have broken limbs. On a 23km coastal hike from Anakena to the town of Hanga Roa, we had our personal pack of five stray dogs to keep us company all the way.

We spotted many birds of prey on our coastal hike.

The coast line was rugged with waves crashing over the rocks.

I was pleased that we arrived by air not sea. The few visiting yachts seemed to be having a rough time, seeking a safe anchorage.

Of course Rapa Nui is famous for its cultural, archaeological and historical legacy.

Ahu and Moai
Great expressions

Pukao. The hats, sombreros and top knots.
The petroglyphs
Observation tower, Tupa. Houses, Oronga Village.

I can’t include enough photos to do the place justice. You will have to go and visit.

The most unexpected discovery of the holiday was the elaborate bells played loudly on the Catholic Church clock. The church was just up the road from our accommodation in Hanga Roa. It probably drives the locals mad but I was fascinated.

Despite the fact that we arrived from Tahiti where the Polynesians love their traditional dancing, we enjoyed an evenings entertainment watching a dance show in the town.

We had a brilliant week. Rapa Nui offered us far more than just the famous Moai.

Fenua

Opening events with pomp and ceremony are part of the role you play as the President of French Polynesia.

You arrive as the President: the Country’s major VIP. You and your entourage are welcomed. The traditional greetings continue as you are escorted along the route to the stage, where you will say a few words. No one wants long speeches.

A bit like the shock of the unknown in a ghost train, serious women in bright clothing spring out in front of you. They chant and sing. A man throws baby powder into the air.


It’s all too much. You try to suppress your amusement. Your shoulders start to shake. You give up and burst into laughter, singing along with the women.

You recompose yourself in time to cut the tape of tiare flowers.

This is a happy occasion and everyone is relaxed.

The event from the 3rd to 6th May in the Place To’ata, Papeete, Tahiti is the:

Salon made in Fenua

Fenua means land. There are over 90 stalls set up with people selling locally made French Polynesian products.

Coconut products from Tikehau in the Tuamotus

There’s a 4 day programme of Music, dance, comedy and song all performed on the small stage.

Dance and drumming.
The cow on route to the stage. Mascot for Tip Top ice cream.

With glorious weather, the event is popular keeping the traders busy.

The temporary stalls took a week to erect by strong Tahitian men.

This time next week, the venue will be ready to host a different event.

Prolific

WordPress weekly photo-challenge

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/prolific/


The Instructions

“This week show us your interpretation of prolific


Pearls, pearls, pearls.

They call them “Black Pearls” because they are produced by the black-lip pearl oyster but they come in different colours.

Papeete is the small capital city of French Polynesia. It is on the main island of Tahiti. Everywhere you look, there are shops selling black pearls. Many of them are outlets for the Pearl farmers from different islands or atolls in French Polynesia.

So many shops sell pearl jewellery .

Some displays are better than others

Easter /Spring theme

This shop’s a bit cluttered.

Market traders sell low quality pearls.

The pearls are graded for quality.

The Tuamotus are said to produce the best quality pearls. The oysters thrive in the pristine waters of the remote atolls. However, the farmers of the society islands claim that they are the ones that culture the finest pearls.

Some pearls cost a fortune.

Phew, just for one pearl.

This necklace costs well over $3000 despite the mouldy display model.

I could buy a new dinghy and outboard motor for that price.

As I wandered around the Pearl shops yesterday, I came across two lovely ladies working upstairs in the market. They sell the cheaper quality pearls and their display is crammed in amongst the cleaning stuff. But for all that, they were marvellous fun to chat with. I didn’t buy any pearls but they insisted on photographing me wearing an enormous pearl necklace.

Fun to chat to these ladies.

Machine used to make the holes through the Pearls

There are other types of pearls. Keshi pearls are small non-nucleated pearls typically formed as by-products of pearl cultivation. I love them.

Keisha pearls

Other jewellery is made from the pearly oyster shells. These fetch good prices as well.

Incidentally the Robert Wan Pearl Museum is the world’s only museum dedicated to pearls. It is located here in Papeete.

Shy

All was calm in the marina this morning, no swell. The Muscovy Duck was catching a few rays of sunshine and appeared dry and relaxed. Breakfast was prepared and ready for us to eat in the cockpit but John had disappeared. I thought it a bit weird that he should choose that moment to spray WD40 on his bikes which are secured near the marina gate.

Moments later I was presented with a rose and a bouquet of local grown flowers from the market. Today is Valentines Day. John admitted to being embarrassed about buying Valentine flowers. I had made one of my card creations for John, not a fair exchange really but it was made with love.

Valentines day can be a cruel day. The teenage school girls in Tahiti are demonstrative with their newly presented roses and often look smug rather than smitten. I’ve seen girls purchasing their own roses from the local garage, glancing quickly around to check that no one in their peer group has noticed. Such is the pressure.

Having purchased a baguette a couple of hours later, I noticed that the flower sellers in the market were having a field day. Men young and old seemed shy and embarrassed as they make their choice of bouquet. Token gesture or completely over the top, what message should they give.

A shy Tane scurrying away with Valentine flowers.

On closer observation I was happy to note that families old and young bought flowers too.

Oh no. Not helium balloons.

I don’t want to be too harsh on the concept of Valentines Day but I loathe the fact that it has become another commercial gimmick. How could you possibly approve of a bunch of flowers containing an inflated Chinese helium balloon. So bad for the environment.

Day 10: “Architecture” — Go Monochrome


The Instructions

Today, look for architectural elements that translate into black and white: sharp lines, patterns, defined shapes, large surface areas, and a mix of very light and very dark colors.


This is the last day of my course, so I took two different scenarios in monochrome.

I photographed all types of architectural structures. The windows and door frame of the Cathedral, the ferry port building, the concert stadium but I wasn’t happy with any of these.

I ended up with an overall picture of the Mairie de Papeete which is the Townhall . The building is rather elegant and lends itself to a photo in both colour or black and white.

Town Hall in Papeete. Tahiti. Using the cookie cream filter.

I felt a monochrome photograph made the building look like a little piece of history waiting to be told.

I couldn’t resist a picture of the men thatching the roof of this next building. The building is a humble toilet block in the Papeete Paofai Park. I thought the scene looked like something out of a bygone era. But instead of thatching the roof reed by reed, it comes in ready thatched strips a couple of meters long, ingenious.

I was testing out the different monochrome shades in these photos.

Thatchers in action. Using a cookie cream filter then a sunshine filter on this shot.
The thatch arrives in strips. Photo using classic monochrome filter.
Vahine toilet block in Paofai Park. Tahiti. Using the grey scale monochrome filter.

Of all the monochrome photos, I like the Mairie Town Hall photo best.

I will have fun experimenting with my photography in the future.