Dear Editor – In past years I was always interested to read of the work and success of the Solomon Islands Development Trust (SIDT) which some years ago was managed by the late Dr. John Roughan.
The SIDT visited many rural communities throughout the Solomon Islands and through play-acting and counseling services illustrated correct behavior to mitigate the effects of anti-social conduct influenced by alcohol and gender issues, leading to abuse and domestic violence.
I am not aware whether the SIDT continues but no longer read of the kind of work once undertaken.
I do know, however, of the infant film industry in the Solomon Islands and of the great work being done by Regina and Georgina Lepping, both daughters of the late Sir George Lepping, a former Governor-General of the Solomon Islands, and Riley John, one of the founders of Longa Boys, a group of young filmmakers in Central Guadalcanal Central Province.
Riley is said to be making short films that focus on the cultural stories of his province and in other provinces.
His group was comparatively recently awarded a prize for participating in the ‘Native Lens Film Festival, an annual event which is organized by Regina and Georgina.
I would like to see the budding filmmakers in the Solomon Islands given financial, material, and equipment support to undertake their important educational role and to produce more short films that both educate and tell stories.
In respect of gender matters, short films could be an important tool for gender mainstreaming. They would provide awareness, knowledge and illustrate practical skills about gender equality that would help women and girls, in particular, to reflect on and change their self-perception, their ways of relating to others and their beliefs, and the same for men and boys.