‘…Because Papua New Guinean women live with strong cultural expectations that they will be carers and homemakers, rather than cultural producers, they face even more than the usual impediments to being filmmakers. Despite these challenges, a small number of Papua New Guinea women is dedicated to making films about and for their fellow Papua New Guineans. In doing so, they are addressing and defining what constitutes ‘community’ and ‘development’ from an insider perspective.‘ (Ceridwen Spark, ‘Sisters doing it for themselves: Women and film making in PNG‘)
To date, the majority of films about PNG have been made by outsiders. There is, however, a growing media industry in PNG. Partly due to the increased impact of social media and new affordable technology, media outcomes directed and produced by Papua New Guineans are becoming more and more visible. While filmmaking in particular is of interest to many media makers, there is currently a lack of professional training in the country. Film and television production staff at PNG organizations often wish for further training in order to increase quality production in PNG and to participate in the international market.
This project aims at strengthening the PNG film industry by providing the opportunity for six Papua New Guinean women to each direct one of the Pawa Meri films. The assumption underpinning this is that Papua New Guinean women are best equipped to tell the stories of Papua New Guinean women. Through the Pawa Meri project and its mentoring scheme, the directors will gain the financial and creative support to each create a 26-minute broadcast documentary.