BY ELLISON VAHI
THE Marovo Carver is a short Documentary about Marovo Carvings, life and culture in the Solomon Islands.
Elliot Spencer as the Director and Producer of the Documentary Filmed it as it tells the story of Tasiro, a Marovo Carver from Nggatokae Island.
Elliot Spencer first met with Tasiro when he visited the Solomon Island in 2004 when sailed by yacht with a small crew direct from Brisbane to the Santa Cruz Islands of Temotu Province.
“I liked it so much that I ended up staying. While still in my teens, I learned Solomon Islands Pijin, hunting, fishing, gardening, and story-telling solo style,” he said.
Spencer said that when met up with Tasiro, he was amazed by his level of skill as he calved directly into the wood following only his imagination.
“His name also struck me special, Tasiro is the name of my favourite actor Toshiro Mifune from the Akira Kurosawa’s film Seven Samurai 1954,” he added.
In relation, the documentary is part of a platform for over 75 Film Festivals around the globe where all budgets, genres and geographies are represented in one place, whom 80 countries attend it for over the course of the five days with attendance of more than 50,000 people participated.
With much adoration for the carver’s art, Mr Elliot then started producing the project as he wanted to create the cinematic film in which would showcase Solomon Islands arts and culture in a very positive way.
“I love Marovo Carvings and I have many old friends who are Marovo Carvers. The goal was to share Marovo Carvings with the World, and inspire a sense of pride among Marovo Carvers” Mr Elliot said.
Usually telling strong human stories Elliot’s work has tackled many challenging contemporary matters from refugees, indigenous issues, and the environment. While filmmaking in the Solomon Islands and China Elliot has learned to speak Mandarin and Solomon Islands Pijin which have given him a unique insight and creative freedom while filmmaking abroad.
Elliot is most known for his work “Long Yearning: Modern China Ancient Poems” Awarded Best Film Human Rights at the 5th Life After Oil International Film Festival 2018, Best Experimental Film at the ATOM (Australian Teachers of Media Awards 2017, Best Documentary at the Asia Peace Film Festival 2017.
“It’s always great to be awarded as it’s highly competitive out there, often thousands of films are entered into a single festival. Marovo Carver was made on a non-profit basis, so getting live screenings and feedback that the film has been impacting audiences is important to me,” he said.
In addition to, it’s a very positive film as it shows the original beauty of the Solomon Islands environment and the openness of Solomon Island people.
Hence, the film does bring to light some of the pressing issues facing the Solomon Islands especially with regards the environment impacts that Global Warming threatens.
“I want to put pressure on the World at large to respect the Solomon Islands and the Pacific region which I consider sacred.
“Sharing this news with the Solomon Islands. Together, we can all be proud of the Marovo Carvers,” he added.
To date, Marovo Carver was Awarded Best Short Documentary and Grand Prize Winner at the IAFOR IDFA (International Documentary Film Awards) in Japan, and Best Indigenous Film at the POP (People of Passion Awards) in Australia.