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Show a little love for a big dream...

Since my somewhat successful (by Uni student standards) debut short film The Tongans, Meet the Parents, which I wrote and directed for my final project at UTS some 8 years ago, I've dabbled in a range of small scale video production, mostly commercial type stuff or promotional videos; nothing that I've truly poured my heart into. Something I have poured my heart into was establishing a film festival, the Pasifika Film Fest, which began its life in my creative studio space in the backstreets of Marrickville (Sydney) in 2013.  I spent the next 4-5 years expending a lot of time and energy ensuring storytellers of Pacific heritage had a platform to share their films on and that Pacific stories were celebrated. 

After a couple of years keeping a low profile in the Pasifika arts and filmmaking spheres, I have decided to stand in the shoes of a filmmaker once again, because I have a story to tell. This story is not only mine, it is a story that belongs to many: to my family, my communities, to women, to children, to descendants, to people from all walks of life who have felt a call to honour the memory of their ancestors and in doing so, to keep history alive.

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well besides being an awesome person...

  • You will be supporting the vision of a female storyteller, of Tongan/Australian heritage, with strong ancestral links to both Papua New Guinea and Samoa who will share this unique story with a global audience.

  • You will be supporting independent filmmakers and crew members from culturally diverse backgrounds

  • You will back a story that reinforces to people of Pacific heritage and other culturally diverse backgrounds that their culture and traditions are deeply respected

  • You will be helping to bring alive and preserve a significant part of the history of East New Britain that is relevant far beyond just Kalo, her family and the Kuradui village community. This history spreads into much of the coastal lands of ENB and its surrounding islands, crossing over to New Ireland and stretching as far away as Australia and even as far as Samoa, back to where this story first began.

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How fund will be spent

  • Travel expenses for Kalo to travel to and spend some time living in PNG to allow her to connect in a meaningful way with the people, the land and the stories of PNG, particularly those relevant to the film.

  • Travel expenses for a small, dedicated team (from Australia and PNG) to produce a quality film.

  • Crew fees; supporting a team which primarily comes from culturally diverse backgrounds

  • Equipment hire, insurance and filming permits

  • Post production costs, including dramatic recreations that include the cooperation of Pacific actors, creatives and community.

  • Marketing & PR to let the world know they should come and watch and support this film

  • Development of a workbook for schools to accompany the film; a workbook for ENB schools on local colonial history, providing information and insight into the stories behind the names which are so much a part of the ENB region.

  • Facilitating screenings of the film in remote locations, especially for the people who live in the villages where the film is made or in locations that are referenced.

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Courtesy of Documentary Australia Foundation

Media connects us to each other and breaks down isolation. Through documentary we share stories and enhance each other's worlds.


Philanthropists and documentary filmmakers have much in common. Both tend to be interested in cultural and social issues and work towards making a difference to society.

There are many specific shared areas of interest between grant-makers and filmmakers including education, arts, welfare issues, environment, indigenous stories, social justice, health and youth issues. 

Foundations ask: "What kind of society do we want to live in?" Their grant-making strategies aim to find concrete and creative answers to this question. Documentary filmmakers ask the same questions as foundations


Documentaries bring to light stories illustrating philanthropic areas of focus. Documentaries raise public awareness, educate, effect change, entertain and aim to emotionally connect with audiences. Giving to documentaries increases the leverage of the philanthropic dollar by extending outreach and can significantly enhance the effectiveness of gift-giving programs. Audio-visual media (including documentary, television, radio, internet and mobile phones) is now recognised to be the most powerful and widely understood medium of telling stories, connecting audiences and communicating important messages.


Documentaries empower people within the community. Many groups within our community often do not have the opportunity to tell their own stories. An inability to contribute to public debate can lead to a sense of worthlessness and exclusion. By funding documentary films, foundations can enable unheard stories to be told. As well as empowering the storytellers, documentaries allow other members of the community to recognise diversity and understand difference. The intimacy of a personal story is a powerful means to combat ignorance, create empathy and build understanding.


Documentaries impact audiences in an emotional and personal way that the written word, reports and statistics cannot. Through story telling, they have the capacity to communicate common experiences and encourage empathy amongst a wider audience than conventional analytical tools. A report or localised project on a particular issue may effect those already knowledgeable and working in the area. A documentary film about people affected by these issues shares a very human story that a broader audience understands.

For more information about making a donation to a documentary film, how to assess a film proposal or making your donation tax-deductable, head to the Documentary Australia Foundation website.

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