PM to launch TV production
Fiji Live - Thursday October 12, 2006
Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase will formally launch a major American television production in the Northern Division next Monday.
The Fiji Audio Visual Commission (FAVC) refused to divulge the name and other details about the production until the launch citing a confidentiality agreement signed with the company.
However, the Survivor series is the only American TV production that has set up operations in the North recently.
The production of this reality television show was recently caught up in a land dispute after Fiji landowners had threatened to go to court over the "unlawful" use of their land.
This had prompted FAVC chief executive Dan Bolea to call on Fiji landowners to realise the importance of a film industry and resolve land dispute matters amicably.
FAVC chairman Joe Mar today confirmed that no disruption to the production is anticipated .
This was after a meeting late last week between the FAVC, the producers, the Native Lands Trust Board, the Roko Tui Saravanua, the Tui Sawana and the people of Vunivutu at Vunivutu Village.
Mar conceded however that there were some misunderstanding and misinformation but stressed that under the circumstances some of these may be understandable given the magnitude of the production, the lack of infrastructure and the tight schedule under which it is being put together.
He further added that the Tui Macuata, the Tui Sawana and the chiefs and people of the affected areas have confirmed their full backing to the production.
Survivor producers are reported to have invested $6 million worth of infrastructure in their Nadogo site.
In addition, Mar believes that the Prime Minister's presence at the launching of this project is significant because it is one of the first major projects for the Northern Division as part of Government's 'Look North' policy "and certainly the first major film production of its kind".
"This emphasizes Government's firm commitment to developing this region," he said.
The Look North Policy is aimed at revitalizing the economy of the Northern Division and encouraging developments in that part of the country. This production will take place in Vunivutu and the adjacent coastline and nearby islands, to the north east of Labasa.
Mar says the FAVC has expanded considerable efforts and resources to not only attract this major production to Fiji, but particularly to persuade it to shoot in the North.
The efforts of the Tui Macuata, the Native Lands Trust Board, the Fijian Affairs Board via the Roko Tui Saravanua, the Audio Visual Task Force and others too many to name have all greatly contributed to this achievement," Mar says.
He added that the FAVC was confident that once this major American TV series is broadcast to the world, Fiji will receive tremendous exposure and it is likely to attract other productions here.
Mar maintains that already anecdotal reports from people in the Labasa and surrounding areas confirm that business in the North is "picking up steam" since the production set up its operations there.
Monday's launching of the production by the Prime Minister will be held at Vunivutu Primary School. The people of Vunivutu and nearby villages will perform traditional ceremonies of welcome for the Prime Minister and invited guests beginning at 2pm.http://www.survivorfever.net/s14_fijilive_10_12.html