Monday, October 16, 2006

Survivor 14 at Vunivutu - now it's official

from Peceli,
Okay now it's no more a secret as our Fiji Prime Minister travelled to Vunivutu village in Macuata for the official launch of Survivor 14. Good luck with the project. It's really good news for the North, and babasiga people will surely be happy to host these visitors. So we have Survivor 14 at Vunivutu and we have tribewanted at Vorovoro. Way to go!


from last Thursday's Fijilive
PM to launch TV production
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.

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from Fiji TV news today:
Survivor TV series to pour millions into local economy
16 Oct 2006 22:05:29

The economy in the North is expected to be given a financial boost with the start of a major television production in the coming week.

The Fiji episode of the Survivor series is to be shot on location in the Macuata province in Vanua Levu.

The Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, visited the North today to officially launch the TV series.

Vunivutu village, about an hour's drive out of Labasa town, is playing host to the Fiji episode of the Survivor TV series.

Its brought good news for the landowners, villagers and business people, with its multiplying dollar effect on the northern economy.

The Prime Minister's arrival in the north and the traditional ceremonies which followed signified the Government's endorsement and appreciation of a production that will feature Fiji on TV screens around the world.

The Survivor production boasts a crew of some 250 people, whose presence has changed the landscape at Vunivutu - with the construction of over a hundred timber and canvas kit homes.

A landing on the Wainikoro River, built for the series, will remain at the end of the 6-week production.

The Survivor shoot is one of several overseas productions this year.

1 comment:

Nicole L said...

Hi,

My name is Nicole and I came accross your blog when I did a Google search for "Vunivutu." It seems as though you are very familiar with Vunivutu, so I wanted to contact you.

I will be backpacking in Fiji for three weeks in January and would love a unique experience. I am thinking that if they are using the Vunivutu area as a "Survivor" location that it's probably incredibly beautiful because every "Survivor" location is. I'd love to go there if it is accessible and not too expensive to get there. I also work for a magazine and have a couple of story ideas that may be really neat to write if I go there (if it is okay with the people there, of course). They will already be done filming by the time I get to Fiji, so I won't run into any "this is a closed set" problems if I go, although I wanted to know if there are many other problems (not being welcome, etc) that I may run into there. I'm also wondering if they may do any village homestays in Vunivutu and who I would contact if they do.

My email address is NDL51583@aol.com. Any help insight and help you could give me would be GREATLY APPRECIATED! I have been unable to find any information about the area other than that they are using it for Survivor.

Thank you so much for your time.

Sincerely,

Nicole L.