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Production   /  Kalo Fainu

Between Two Worlds

History comes alive in the land of the unexpected as one woman’s search for self re-awakens the spirit of her ancestors


Impact areas





  • DIRECTOR Kalo Fainu

  • PRODUCER Alana Hicks



When Kalo’s Australian family begin to make plans to return her grandparents ashes to PNG, she volunteers to oversee what will prove to be a powerful homecoming.

In this captivating documentary of an extraordinary family history, the filmmaker becomes both subject and storyteller, taking us with her across the Pacific as she retraces the footsteps of her ancestors and discovers who she is within these worlds, and within her family.

As the Kuradui clans take ownership of the story and initiate discussions concerning the secret rites surrounding the upcoming burial, Kalo begins interviewing family members, eliciting unexpected moments of humour and pathos as they offer personal accounts of family history.

She discovers there are more questions than answers and that she must listen carefully to the voices in the wind to ensure a meaningful and successful cross cultural celebration that will bring both peace to the broken hearts of her family and honour to the custodians of the land.

Support this project

11.66% funded
  • $150,000.00

  • $17,490.00

  • 14

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





Jason and Ranee Hicks Cottam $100.00
michelle Reid $200.00
Amy Kerr $100.00
Stephanie Tonkin $1,000.00
Anonymous $5,000.00
Alexandra Carter $100.00
Rita & Jeffrey Uechtritz / Brock $500.00
Pani & Sapate Patu $50.00
Anne Peters $40.00
Phil Heath $100.00
Olga Bodrova $100.00
Jules Walsh $100.00
Evan Clarry $100.00
Anonymous $10,000.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

How many female directors of Pasifika background documenting stories with Pasifika content are represented on Australian screens? It’s time to register their title on the cultural landscape. The quest of a Tongan/Australian woman in search of herself amongst a remarkable cast of female ancestors of mixed Samoan descent is a call to arms for the voices of Pacific women to be heard.

Kalo’s story evolves within that of a family burial in a land where historical connection and bonds to the local people are evidenced in the gravestones that lie on their soil and told in legends that survive to this day. It’s part of the history of the South Seas and hungers to be told, placing Australia within the framework of colonial settlement in the Pacific, inking the degree to which such tales have been forgotten.

This film seeks to inspire interest in and pride amongst our Pasifika and Oceanic societies and facilitate the potential for forging more meaningful cross-cultural relationships.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

More than 75% of Australians identify with an ancestry other than Australian, with those of Pasifika blood, particularly women, some of the most poorly represented across the broad spectrum of Australian society.

Appreciation of our Pacific Islander neighbours is limited and stereotypical; We aim to generate new awareness of those communities in our region and concurrently inspire all who seek identity to explore the commonalities and the differences within their own ancestral legacies.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

How many descendants are there amongst us who are products of the colonisation of the Pacific? We aim to raise awareness of regional history and shift stereotypical perspectives.

We want families to seek both personal and intergenerational identity in an age when disconnection isolates us all. We want to create more dialogue around what constitutes meaningful engagement with other cultures.

Through the exchange of shared history and connection to the land with the local PNG community (Queen Emma and Richard & Phebe Parkinson mat-mats) we would like to see a revival of tourism in the region, along with charitable interest in the Phebe Parkinson Study Centre, a local school benefiting disadvantaged children.

By illustrating an extraordinary female heritage, we aim to empower women to reach beyond the glass ceiling.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

Pasifika Film Fest: Extensive established partnerships/working relationships able to promote and distribute to Pacific communities in Australia, across the Pacific region and internationally, including a large number of Business, Community, Government, Arts & Culture, Educational and Media Organisations.

Endorsement, advice and feedback from fiscal sponsor : From The Heart Productions (California) on behalf of PIC

With funding, we will appoint an Impact Producer specifically for outreach and engagement with marginalised audiences.

Kalo was recent keynote speaker at Pacific Connect ICDP (Pacific Women Entrepreneurs) June 2019, which offered networking and collaborative opportunities

Primarily Pasifika/PNG film crew with substantial credits throughout the Pacific and internationally

Kundu Productions: Multiple media organisations/ History Channel/ Admin N.G. & Rabaul Historical Societies/ PNG Tourism Authority/ Advice, production, editorial & filming support

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

Donate / In kind support to Phebe Parkinson School for disadvantaged children in East New Britain.

Support to create education packs for local schools: film, education materials on ENB history.

Donate to a crowdfunding campaign to maintain Queen Emma / Kuradui cemeteries with potential to support a number of other linked tourism projects that would support local enterprise.

Donate or host a screening to fundraise towards screening this film across PNG & small Pasifika communities.

Support film through a formulated social media campaign.

Support a range of options to pressure policy makers and art bodies to review selection criteria to be more inclusive of women filmmakers of Pasifika/ CALD heritage.

Become part of creating groups of women storytellers/filmmakers of all nationalities to tell their own ancestral stories.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

When we see evidence of more Pasifika stories being told by women and a shift in attitude to the current stereotyping
When we see more stories emerging of families seeking connection through ancestry
When we observe more dialogue around what constitutes meaningful engagement with other cultures

These will be measured in a variety of ways including:

Work produced and audience attendance figures from film festivals/ screenings
Data from collaboration with various community/ philanthropic/ Govt organisations
Survey/Interview data from people living in PNG & Pacific Islands on the impact of cross-cultural relations
Print & online social media response to release of film & increased traffic to website/ blog and social media pages
Increased online & digital discussion around meaningful engagement with other cultures/ acknowledgement and respect for the work of women of colour.
Local curriculum inclusion of colonial history of ENB
Revival of tourism & enterprise success for local ENB s