A documentary film starring Prince Albert II and Badu Island artist Alick Tipoti has won the Special Jury Prize at the 19th International Oceanian Documentary Film Festival held last week in Papeete, Tahiti.
Documentary film Albert and Alick is, on the one hand, an unlikely film about an unlikely friendship that grew between two strangers from completely different worlds. On the other, it is about two men who are both looking to stop the madness of global warming and protect the oceans that are near to both of their hearts.
Directed by Douglas Watkin, the film was first conceived after the chance meeting between the Prince and Australian artist Alick Tipoti at the Oceanographic Museum exhibition ‘Taba Naba: Australia, Oceania, art of the peoples of the sea’ in 2016.
An off-the-cuff initiation for Prince Albert II to visit Tipoti’s small island home of Badu Island in the Torres Strait off Northern Australia launched a relationship between the two men that led to the Prince visiting Badu in 2018 as part of a Monaco Explorations mission. The hospitality was reciprocated in 2019, when Tipoti returned to Monaco.
Both trips were filmed, and the ensuing result was a touching and poignant picture of two people who, in their own ways, are striving to save the planet and make the world a better place. It is also the tale of diversity, man’s relationship with nature and a message of the importance of peace, tolerance, and understanding between cultures.
The Sovereign’s admiration for the work of Tipoti is evident, and respect for the Prince by Tipoti is equally clear.
“This connection between art, science and nature embodied by Alick Tipoti is simply remarkable,” the Prince said in a trailer for the film.
The 2022 International Oceanian Documentary Film Festival (FIFO), held from 5th to 13th February in the Tahitian capital of Papeete, celebrated this connection by awarding the film the Special Jury Prize.
FIFO selected a dozen feature films out of 120 submitted and presented them to the public at the Maison de la Culture de Tahiti and online on the Festival’s digital platform.
Presenting the Special Jury Prize, Beckie Stocchetti, Jury Member and Executive Director of the Hawaii International Film Festival, said, “The Jury was very impressed with this film which showcased the work of indigenous artists and talk about a global, planetary problem, climate change. This film is an inspiration to all of us to protect our oceans and all the marine life therein.”
The film festival was created in 2004 and has gradually brought in directors from Oceania and elsewhere to introduce the world to this region. The 2020 festival saw more than 30,000 attendees.
Photo source: Albert and Alick