Film Fiji today launched the 2015 Kula Awards with major sponsors HFC Bank and Fiji Airways. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the awards, which was established by Film Fiji in 2006 to provide an avenue for high school students to express themselves through the creative arts. This year the Kula Awards will again be in three streams of creative arts: film, dance and art.

Film Fiji’s core role is to develop the audio visual industry in Fiji. The HFC Bank Kula Film Awards is a key part of this charter as it encourages all Fijians to be involved in the industry.

Film Fiji CEO, Dallas Foon says “We are very pleased to have HFC Bank, a Fijian owned bank, and Fiji Airways partner with us in a competition which results in Fijian made art. Films and artwork that have been submitted in the past have been of the highest quality and we encourage all high school students to participate and showcase their creativity.”

HFC CEO, Isikeli Tikoduadua says that HFC Bank takes great pride in our country and as a result, continues to identify new areas that need the support of corporate bodies. “This year we chose to extend our support to our school children and the growing Film industry. It is an honor to be a sponsor to bring HFC Bank Kula film awards to you this year. We see great talent and potential in our children to advance in filmmaking and this is our way of encouraging and supporting”.

As in past years, Film Fiji will run workshops around the country with professional filmmakers to provide training for all who will be competing. To mark the 10th Anniversary of the HFC Bank Kula Film Awards, the US Embassy has partnered with Film Fiji to bring in two award winning US filmmakers to conduct the workshops, which will include all aspects of filmmaking from screenwriting, pre-production, filming, and editing in preparation for the awards. Film Fiji Chairperson, Shaenaz Voss says “In addition to filming theory, this year we were looking at ways for participants in our workshops to get more of a hands-on experience in the art of filmmaking. We are grateful to the US Embassy in Fiji and the US State Department’s American Film Showcase program for assisting with bringing in the US filmmakers to provide this experience.

As well, we are tremendously grateful to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism and to the Ministry of Education for without their support of this Kula Awards program this event would not be possible.”
The Fiji Airways Kula Art Competition was included in the Kula Awards in 2014 to allow young Fijian artists to showcase their talent on a national stage. As with all streams of the Kula Awards, Film Fiji will be providing training workshops for students to be conducted by a professional international artist.

Stefan Pichler, Fiji Airways Board Director commented: “We are delighted to be supporting this initiative for our secondary school students for the second year running. Fiji Airways strongly believes in the artistry and creativity of Fijian children, and the art competition is an excellent avenue for them to showcase this. We had over 100 entries from students across Fiji in 2014, and we’re expecting a whole lot more this year. The Fiji Airways Kula Art Competition complements Film Fiji’s Kula Awards nicely. There are really attractive prizes on offer for the finalists and the winner of the art competition, and we look forward to some brilliance from our students.”

The Kula Dance Competition is the final stream of creative arts for students to participate in and it too will feature professional training workshops.

The 2015 Kula Awards will culminate in an awards ceremony over two nights later in July.