Sweetshop & Green takes the spotlight at FIFO Tahiti

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AUCKLAND, Today: Sweetshop & Green recently celebrated a significant victory at the Festival International du Film Océanien (FIFO), where it was honoured with major awards for two of its projects.

Managing Director Sharlene George, fresh from the festival in Tahiti, shared her experience. “It was so wonderful to be part of a film festival steeped in deeply cultural and indigenous stories. FIFO provides an environment to experience films and filmmakers who are uniquely from across the Pacific,” she remarked, highlighting the festival’s dedication to Pacific storytelling.

One of the standout achievements was the Best Short Fiction Film Prize for the supernatural thriller Taumanu, directed by Taratoa Stappard. This accolade underscores Sweetshop & Green’s commitment to delivering compelling and culturally resonant narratives.

Discussing Taumanu, Ricky-Lee Russel-Waipuka, Development and Production Executive, reflected on the project’s depth. “The development process for Taumanu was not only a story of reclamation for the characters, but a journey of reclamation for director Taratoa Stappard. It was a privilege to guide Taratoa culturally to receive the appropriate support to deliver the project as authentically as possible,” she shared.

“It was so wonderful to be part of a film festival steeped in deeply cultural and indigenous stories.”

Russel-Waipuka also touched on the sensitivity of the film’s themes. “We were dealing with some pretty tapu (sacred) content, therefore taking all of the right steps leading up to the shoot to ensure spiritual and physical safety was paramount for us as producers,” emphasising the meticulous approach taken during production.

Another festival highlight was Sweetshop & Green’s Beneath the Moana: Exploring Deep Sea Mining in the Pacific, which won the Oceania Impact Pitch Prize. This victory will propel the documentary into its next development phase.

Beneath the Moana casts a critical eye on the nascent and controversial deep-sea mining industry in the South Pacific. Sharlene George stressed the film’s importance: “With the danger of Pacific people only having one narrative given to them from the mining companies, it is our duty as filmmakers to explore another perspective from an indigenous point of view.”

For collaboration or enquiries about future projects with Sweetshop & Green, contact sharlene@sweetshopgreen.com, inviting engagement with their groundbreaking work.



Written & Directed by
: Taratoa Stappard
Produced by: Sharlene George, Gal Greenspan, Sweetshop & Green
Line Producer: Nicola Smith
Associate Producer: Ricky-Lee Russell-Waipuka
DOP: Ginny Loane
Casting Director: Christina Asher
Production Designer: Riria Lee
Costume Design: Barbara Darragh, Lucy Danner
Hair & Make-Up: Amanda Ashton
Editor: Richard Shaw
Composers: Karl Steven & Rob Thorne
Sound Design: Nigel Foster
Post-production: Toybox NZ


Written & Directed by
: Josh Teariki Baker
Produced by: Sharlene George, Maria Tanner, Sweetshop & Green
Executive Producer: Martha Jefferies
Development Producer: Rouzie Hassanova
Writer and Researcher: Rachel Reeves
Editor: Ben Powdrell
Cinematographer: Chris Mauger

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