Press Release – Elephant Publicity
After over 50 international festivals and more than 10 international prizes including two Jury Grand Prix, two Best Documentary, a Qantas Award for editing and the prestigious Leipziger Ring award, There Once was an Island: The Henua e Nnoho by rising NZ director …For Immediate Release
Globe-Trotting Festival Favorite Now Playing In NZ
There Once Was An Island: Te Henua E Nnoho
Directed by Briar March
After over 50 international festivals and more than 10 international prizes including two Jury Grand Prix, two Best Documentary, a Qantas Award for editing and the prestigious Leipziger Ring award, There Once was an Island: The Henua e Nnoho by rising NZ director Briar March now plays in selected theatres nationwide.
Four years in the making, “There Once was an Island” is the story of a Pacific Island community in Papua New Guinea – their unique way of life and their fight to preserve what really matters in the face of climate change, including a terrifying flood. Takuu atoll is an idyllic home to articulate, educated people who maintain a 1200 year-old culture and language with pride – but all is not well in paradise.
Set in Takuu, an atoll one metre above sea level and based around three intrepid characters in the community who live there, director Briar March’s festival-favourite charts the problems that arise in the face of global warming already. Showing an inexorable rise of the ocean swallowing the island, March manages to capture a lucid, compelling and often visually ravishing portrait of Takuu life.
There Once was an Island made its national debut at the 2010 New Zealand International Film Festival, where director March and the film itself won rave reviews including from the likes of the NZ Listener and the Lumiere Reader. Its duality – a documentary in many ways as much about the personal impact of climate change as it is about environmental degradation- has led it to become a festival favourite across the globe; screening in festivals such as The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, Raindance, Dok Leipzig, Hawaii International Film Festival, Hot Springs, Starz (Denver, Colorado), the Margaret Mead Documentary Festival and the Hamburg International Film Festival.
Although competing with an international cadre of amazing films, There Once was an Island has received many awards, reflecting the way it moves audiences emotionally.
Both March and producer Lyn Collie are in the process of formalising a trust to help the Takuu community through their company On the Level Productions. Moved by their experiences shooting the film, they wish to continue the work begun with their sponsorship of the film’s production assistant and translator, Rose Tione, who was able to gain her first high-school qualification through the company’s assistance.
“There Once was an Island” “Unsensational, intimate and quietly passionate”. “March’s meticulously observed examination of the crisis facing the small atoll of Takuu is an object lesson in patient documentary film-making.” Four stars
– Peter Calder, NZ Herald
“The issue of climate change has never been conveyed more powerfully to laypersons than in Briar March’s documentary There Once Was an Island: Te Henua e Nnoho.”
Helene Wong, New Zealand Listener
THERE ONCE WAS AN ISLAND is playing now in the following centres:
Auckland: Rialto Newmarket – 167 – 169 Broadway, Newmarket (www.rialto.co.nz)
Waiheke: Waiheke Island Community Centre – 2 Korora Road (www.wicc.co.nz)
Dunedin: Rialto Dunedin – 11 Moray Place, Dunedin (www.rialto.co.nz)
Wellington: Paramount Cinemas – 24 Courtenay Place, Te Aro (www.paramount.co.nz)
Nelson: Gecko Theatre – 23b Wallace Street, Motueka (www.geckotheatre.co.nz)