Papua New Guinea: Land of The Unexpected

Papua New Guinea: Land of The Unexpected

This was a self-funded travel / documentary project – a short, no-dialogue tour of one of the most beautiful and little-known countries in the South Pacific: Papua New Guinea. 

Papua New Guinea (PNG) is an Oceanian country that occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and its offshore islands in Melanesia, a region of the southwestern Pacific Ocean north of Australia. It is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. There are 852 known languages in the country, of which 12 have no known living speakers. Most of the population of more than 7 million people live in customary communities, which are as diverse as the languages. It is also one of the most rural, as only 18 percent of its people live in urban centres. The country is one of the world’s least explored, culturally and geographically. It is known to have numerous groups of uncontacted peoples, and researchers believe there are many undiscovered species of plants and animals in the interior. 

Our director Steve was born in PNG and always enjoys a chance to return and film there.  For this film he followed a wide itinerary and visited more of the country than ever before with a local media professional named Robroy assisting him. Locations featured include the capital Port Moresby (and suburbs Boroko, Waigani, Morata, and the Parliament Building) highland towns of Goroka and Mt Hagen, the Jimi Valley and remote towns of Simbai, Aiome, Tsendiap, Koinambe, and coastal regions of Lae, Alotau, Dogura, and Popondetta. 

The film attempted to make links more by theme and feeling than by geography. Therefore the montage is, in places, combining shots that are hundreds of miles apart to instead create a sensory experience of what it is like to visit PNG rather than a geography lesson. There are therefore sections concentrating on coast, highlands, industry, city living, people, poverty, healthcare, crime, religion, education, children sport, and traditional culture and celebration.  

Visit deserted coasts, dense jungles, fast-growing urban towns and inaccessible mountain ranges – all filled with a range of amazing indigenous peoples. Steve’s moving images and award-winning composer Alex Burnett’s beautiful original music score make for a feast for the senses on the big or small screen, all in under seven minutes. We hope you enjoy it!

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