The 2018 Kula Awards was launched on the 23rd of March by the Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources, Hon. Faiyaz Siddiq Koya.  Currently in its 13th year, the Kula Awards is Film Fiji’s annual development program for high school students.

The Kula Awards provides a platform to learn, be professionally trained and participate in the audiovisual industry through three streams of creative arts competitions: film, art, and dance. The training sessions for registered schools will run over the six-month course of the program to give students the best possible introduction to the industry. Film Fiji recruits expert trainers to teach students the fundamentals of cinematography, acting, art, and dance.

In cinematography, students will be trained in all aspects of filmmaking, from script-writing to filming and editing. In acting, students will cover screen tests, hone their facial expressions and body language, and practice voice variation.  In Art, students will engage in visual storytelling through paint or drawings. Finally, in dance, students will cover a wide range of dance techniques, learn choreography, and work on their overall stage presence.

Minister Koya stated that the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism and the Ministry of Education, Heritage and the Arts proudly support the Kula Awards, as it encourages all Fijian students to pursue their passion and take advantage of a growing industry with new-age careers right in their own backyard.

“The Fijian Government sees the development of our country’s audiovisual industry and nurturing of local creative talent as a win-win; it both allows students to do what they love, and it will help continue to expand the Fijian economy in innovative ways. Fiji’s 5- and 20-Year National Development Plans outlines Government’s support, and we look forward to seeing a new generation of Fijian stars come from the Kula Awards,” said Minister Koya.

Film Fiji Chairperson, Ms. Shaenaz Voss added that Film Fiji’s core role is to develop the audiovisual industry and the Kula Awards allowed Film Fiji to develop younger resources for the future.

“Our aim with this program is to inspire students and create interest and appeal for the industry. We are very thankful for the support of Government for this program and our sponsors who make delivering this program possible,” stated Ms Voss.

This year, Film Fiji will introduce new features and categories to the program, including a revamped open category for budding filmmakers who have left school. So far, 34 schools have confirmed their participation in the film competition, while the dance and art competitions have 20 and 30 schools participating, respectively.

Winners of the three streams of competition will be announced at the awards nights on 27 and 28 July 2018.

The major sponsors of the 2018 Kula Awards were also announced today, with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism continuing with their sponsorship of the Fijian Made Film Awards. Fiji Airways will sponsor the Fiji Airways Art competition for the third consecutive year, and Fiji Link will continue their support with the Fiji Link Dance competition.

Film Fiji is the Government statutory body responsible for promoting and developing the audiovisual industry in Fiji. To achieve this, Film Fiji undertakes training and development programs for Fijians and actively promotes Fiji as a film making destination to international film makers.