Directed by: Briar March 2010 | 56 min.

Section: Documentary Nominees

Premiere: Los Angeles


Sponsored by:

Pacific Islanders in Communications

Community Co-Presenter:

International Documentary Association

Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum

USC Asian Pacific American Student Services

Four years in the making, THERE ONCE WAS AN ISLAND: TE HENUA E NNOHO is the story of a Pacific Island community in Papua New Guinea – their unique way of life and their fight to preserve what really matters in the face of climate change, including a terrifying flood.

Takuu atoll is an idyllic home to articulate, educated people who maintain a 1200 year-old culture and language with pride - but all is not well in paradise. Takuu is disintegrating and when two scientists arrive to investigate, the people realise their attempts to preserve the atoll are currently making the situation worse.

We follow Satty, Endar, Teloo and their families as they must decide what matters most – body or soul. As a huge flood rips through the island, destroying homes and gardens, each family struggles with the reality of the atoll’s situation. With limited communication or support, can they justify staying and risking physical safety to maintain all that makes them who they are, or must they become environmental refugees, leaving for a very different life in neighbouring Bougainville, still rife with violence after a 10-year civil conflict?

Ultimately THERE ONCE WAS AN ISLAND is about what makes us who we are and what we all stand to lose as climate change unfolds.


Saturday, May 19 12:00 PM Art Theatre of Long Beach Date Passed
Plays with:  KEAO

Cast & Crew

Executive Producer Annie Goldson
Producer Kelly Anderson, Lyn Collie, Mark Foster
Director Briar March
Associate Producer Zane Holmes
Music Composer Tom Fox, Marshall Smith, Mark Smythe
Editor Prisca Bouchet