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“We, the Voyagers,” Parts One and Two, win grand prizes

  • Contributed by H. M. Wyeth

    Chief and Master Navigator Koloso Kaveia sews the sail of his canoe.

  • Contributed by H. M. Wyeth

    The Taumako stuends started learning about recording using a camera for the first time in 1997.

ANAHOLA — Since its global debut last summer, the Vaka Taumako Project of Pacific Traditions Society’s film “We, the Voyagers,” Parts One and Two, won international grand prizes and has been viewed around the world.

“In 2020 these films were shown in New Zealand, Chile, Maine, Cyprus, India, Pennsylvania, and were among the Hawai‘i International Film Festival entries screened at Kaua‘i’s Historic Waimea Theatre,” Co-producer and co-writer H.M. Wyeth of Anahola said.

“They have also had showings at universities, cultural centers, yacht clubs, museums, and other venues in California, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, the Solomon Islands, Tahiti, British Columbia, and throughout Hawai‘i.”

The films were co-produced and co-written by Dr. Mimi George, a sailor, and anthropologist, of Anahola. In collaboration with Jacob Penchansky, and edited by Serge Marcil of Lihu‘e. The films can be called local despite their primary location in the Solomon Islands.

Wyeth said both the International Maritime Film Festival in Bucksport, Maine and the Arkhaios Film Festival in Pennsylvania awarded them Grand Prizes. They won $1000 for their feature films and viewing on each contest’s websites.

“The award is the recognition that the jury valued this film over every film of the Arkhaios 2020 Official Selection,” Arkhaios Founder Jean Guilleux said. “The members of the jury use a two-page multiple criteria list to assess the relative value of the films. It is an honorific title awarded by the experts-in-their-fields Jury members. ‘We, the Voyagers’ got praised by both the Jury and by the Screening Committee members, who determine the Arkhaios Official Selection.”

Part I, ‘Our Vaka,’ also received an Ethnographic Distinction Award from the third Cyprus International Archaeological, Ethnographic and Historic Film Festival and a Special Mention Award for the Best Ethnographic Depiction from The Archaeology Channel.

“Most recently, the poster received an award from a film festival in Barcelona, Spain (too),” Wyeth said.

In 1993, while visiting the Polynesian island of Taumako in the southeastern Solomons, George met Paramount Chief and Master Navigator Koloso Kaveia, a member of the last generation of men and women who sailed traditional voyaging canoes using their ancestors’ ancient wayfinding methods, according to George.

George quickly learned that Kaveia’s people were in danger of losing their traditional knowledge.

Kaveia insisted that George and her assistants train young members of his community in documentary techniques, so they can portray their community in documentary techniques accurately.

According to Wyeth, these films are a rare opportunity to see how Kaveia and his people built canoes, the ancient way that may have been lost if not documented through the eyes of his people.

The film can be viewed at arkhaiosfilmfestival.org and at maritimefilmfestival.com.

Info: vaka.org/.

2 Comments
  1. RGLadder37 March 11, 2021 12:43 am Reply

    Wow. Congratulations Wyeth. You may already heard the story of NASA sending a Rover to Mars. Obviously you already know where Mars is just by the topic. I just thought these seafarers were quite accurate in their reading of the stars to navigate the great Pacific Ocean. And congratulations to them too. Still with the history behind it are them, Tahiti. I’ve never been to Tahiti, but it is more commercialized and a bit smaller than Hawai’i. There are 189,517 people living in Tahiti. French Polynesia. I suppose anyone can go to Tahiti. Just show them a passport and you’re an okay guy or gal. If not, probably stuck in Tahiti until cleared by the security department for Tahiti. Or cleared by U.S. immigration. I would know how anyone can get stuck in Tahiti. Just play by the rules, and everything would be okay.


  2. kauaidoug March 12, 2021 12:00 pm Reply

    Congratulations!!! Recognition and money is really nice. Good work


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