Film Fiji today launched the 2016 Kula Awards. This year marks the 11th year of the awards, which was established by Film Fiji in 2006 to provide a development ground for high school students for the audio visual industry. This year the Kula Awards will continue in its three streams of creative arts: film, dance and art.

Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Hon. Faiyaz Koya says “ The audio visual industry is very important to the Fijian economy because it brings in direct foreign investment. The money spent on productions is mainly for goods and services purchased in Fiji, helping Fijian businesses, and providing employment for Fijians. Successful audio visual markets have people who are qualified and experienced in this industry, and the Kula Awards is an avenue for high school students to gain exposure to it and grow the resource and skill base for the industry.”

Film Fiji will run workshops around the country with professionals in all three streams of the creative arts providing training for all who will be competing. To commemorate the second decade of the Kula Film Awards, the French Embassy has partnered with Film Fiji to bring in an award winning French director 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 “We are very lucky to have a filmmaker with over 15 years’ experience to train schools this year. We’d like to thank the French Embassy for partnering with us to ensure that our students get the highest quality training. And as always, we are tremendously grateful to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism and the Ministry of Education, for without their support of this Kula Awards program, this event would not be possible.”

Film Fiji CEO, Dallas Foon says “Entries for all three streams 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. We already have 23 schools registered to compete in all or some of the streams with more schools interested and coming to register in the following weeks. As the Kula Awards enters its second decade, we will be raising the bar yet again and adding new award categories for students to compete for.”

The 2016 Kula Awards program will culminate in a awards ceremony over two nights later in July.

Film Fiji is the statutory body responsible for developing and promoting the local audio visual industry.