Homecoming: A Film About Pukapuka Update

It has been awhile since I’ve provided you with an update about the documentary film Homecoming: A Film About Pukapuka. A couple of weeks ago I did receive the latest information regarding the project that I’d like to share with you.

If you recall, Homecoming: A Film About PukaPuka tells the story of climate change through two women who cross the Pacific to return to Pukapuka, the coral atoll where they grew up. A crossing point between Eastern and Western Polynesia, Pukapuka (or Te Ulu o Te Watu, “head of the rock”) has an ancient culture and distinct language maintained for over two thousand years. Today, only 450 people live here. The population continues to decline as the atoll faces rising tides, environmental migration, and cultural adaptation.

This feature-length documentary explores these environmental and social issues through two women writers and friends: Johnny Frisbie, a Pukapukan-American writer’s daughter, and Amelia Borofsky, an American anthropologist’s daughter. The film follows their return journey to this spiritual place.

Click here to visit the Homecoming project’s Kickstarter page.


Here’s the current update from the filmmakers:

Since we last wrote you in February 2016, we received a generous grant from the United Nations Global Environment Facility Small Grants Program, Cook Islands that brought Amelia and Gemma back to Pukapuka to complete the filming of the documentary film in May 2017.

Gemma felt in order to complete the film she had to return to Pukapuka with her camera and get immersed in the daily life and beauty of Wale. Both Gemma and Amelia came out of this five- month- experience living in Rarotonga and Pukapuka with an additional 200 hours of footage, and more importantly, knowing that she had the personal experience and film material to complete the documentary.

What is next for our Homecoming film?

So after completing the revision and logging of all the 400 plus hours, Gemma and Kyung are now collecting archival footage to draft the “first assembly” of the film and still currently working on the transcriptions, translations from Pukapukan to English, and beginning the process of editing. The editing will take at least a year to get to the “rough-cut” stage which will follow postproduction work – music and sound design, color correction and the final online. Our plan is that with a “rough-cut” of the film we can show the power and beauty of the Homecoming film to our funders and approach new foundations to successfully raise the completion funds and take the film to a world wide audience.

The projected completion time is the end of 2019. For those of you who wonder how this film world works….We won’t know the release date of Homecoming until the film is fully completed and accepted into a major film international festival, where we can celebrate its world premiere! 

We thank you for your belief in this film project, your prayers, and support.

We will continue to update you on the status of the film in the next few months.

About islandculturearchivalsupport

Island Culture Archival Support (ICAS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of records pertaining to the cultural identity of island peoples in Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia whose national and public archives, libraries, cultural centers, and business organizations are underprivileged, underfunded, and understaffed. The specific purpose for which this nonprofit corporation was formed is to support the needs of these South Pacific cultural heritage institutions by helping to preserve and make accessible records created for business, accountability or cultural purposes. The organization will endeavor to add value by providing resources or volunteers to advise, train, and work among island residents to support their efforts in building their future and preserving their collective memory through the use of modern archival techniques.
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