Papua New Guineans rarely get to reflect upon themselves on screen.
Pawa Meri Editor Madge Szoeke said this while reflecting the PNG films she edited while at the University of Goroka (UOG).
She said the six-part Pawa Meri films are so different from each other and demonstrate the diversity in PNG.
“I think really here people are starved for reflections of themselves on the screen.”
“All those six women are so different and their aspirations you know, I like what they’ve done from brokering the [Bougainville] peace process to starting a restaurant you know.”
“You know, it’s a tiny reflection of the diversity in PNG,” she said.
Madge was at UOG’s Centre for Social & Creative Media editing two of the Pawa Meri Project films.
Pawa Meri is a joint project between Victoria University in Melbourne and UOG and works to deliver a six-part biographical film series of PNG women as well as train PNG women filmmakers in directing.
The films are aimed at educating and inspiring young women and school-aged girls about career paths.
With the last of the Pawa Meri film production completed, all six films are progressing into the final stages of postproduction.
Madge was in Goroka for three weeks touching up on the Bougainville film and doing a full edit on the Daru and Port Moresby films.
Director of the Port Moresby based film Joys Eggins said that Madge was able to bring out the concepts she had planned for in her film.
“Madge did an excellent job bringing a structure and flow to my film and I’m sure viewers will not only feel the buzz of Moresby but importantly have a better appreciation for the talent Susil Nelson, who stresses the significance of having a good education for life,” she said.
“My film was the last in the production line and with the editor being in the country for a short period, I had to work hard to ensure production was completed with all other steps such as a paper edit was ready for her,” Ms Eggins said.
Pawa Meri Editor Madge Szoeke, a first time visitor to Papua New Guinea was impressed with the achievements of each of the talents in the film as she got to know them better while editing.
“For me, personally it was a great educational experience.”
“I learned an enormous about three different places that I didn’t know very much about.”
“In fact, Daru, I knew nothing about, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of Daru before I came here and then in terms of the project, it was fantastic.”
“What a great bunch of women!” she said.
Madge said the directors in training were equally as strong as the talents they were filming.
“Really really lovely women, smart, you know open to all sorts of things and always interested in the good of the project and representing the Pawa Meri’s faithfully and their integrity rather than other agendas that people sometimes have when they make films,” she said.
In the editing booth, Madge’s observations in regards to training for the directors were invaluable.
“I think probably the only thing that I would be critical of about the pawa meri project would be that the director needed to be more on top of the camera operators and making sure they were getting what the director thought they were getting,” she said.
The Pawa Meri directors are now preparing their films to lay sound tracks and credits as well as develop a graphic style to compile the films.
The directors and support team are now planning for a national launch of the films to hopefully coincide with International Women’s Day in March 2014.