And the award for Best Actor goes to… Fiji
For years, Fiji has been the shining star in many Hollywood films. With over 330 islands to choose from and reliable weather patterns, these islands set the perfect scene for shipwreck, a damsel in distress or capturing paradise.
With the Oscars around the corner, we look back at some award-winning, classic films and TV shows that used Fiji’s idyllic location as it’s stage.
WILSON! Tom Hanks’ iconic role as Chuck Noland, the FedEx employee stranded on an uninhabited island after his plane crashes in the South Pacific, hit our screens in 2000. The epic survival drama was filmed on Monuriki, one of the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji. Now, visitors can go to this very island where Tom and Wilson filmed their key scenes on several ‘Castaway Tours’ available.
Tom received the Golden Globe for Best Actor and an Oscar nomination!
Such a classic movie, they had to make it twice! The 1949 version starring Jean Simmons and Donald Houston shot most of their filming on the Yasawa Islands. With its soaring peaks and natural beauty, it played the perfect setting for two shipwrecked children growing up on a tropical island. The Yasawa Islands make up Fiji’s western border and were once forbidden to set foot on until the 1950s. Lucky they were able to film there!
Jump forward a few years, Fiji welcomed Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins to Nanuya Levu, Yasawa to film the remake. The movie garnered a lot of hype and was nominated for an Academy Award (Best Cinematography) and Golden Globe Award (New Star of the Year – Christopher Atkins). Day trips and tours can be organised to visit the Sawa-I-Lau Caves where some of the iconic scenes were filmed.
Fun fact – the iguanas captured in the movie were unknown to biologists. After watching the film and visiting the island, herpetologist John Gibbons identified it as the near extinct Fiji crested iguana.
“The tribe has spoken.” Survivor filmed their 14th season of their multi-award-winning TV show in the eastern region of the Macuata province, on Fiji’s second largest island, Vanua Levu. Majority of the challenges throughout the season were held on Katawaga Island, Tivi Island, Vatudamu Point, and LONG THE Wainikoro River. For those contestants fighting for their ‘reward getaways’ they would be taken to Namale Resort and Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort in the of town of Savusavu.
Here are some other movies that didn’t win major awards but were filmed in Fiji…
His Majesty O’Keefe
The 1954 adventure film, starring Burt Lancaster, was partly shot on location in Fiji. The movie follows American Captain David O’Keefe who becomes stranded on the South Pacific island of Yap and tries to become an entrepreneur in Micronesia. The indigenous people and dances portrayed in the movie were from the Fiji Islands.
A film about the real-life story of Robin Lee Graham, a 16-year-old boy who sets sail in a 23-foot sloop in attempt to be the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe solo. In the story, he falls in love with the gregarious and attractive Patti Gatteree and they meet in Fiji. The 1974 movie was filmed in locations throughout the world including Suva, Fiji.
Nate and Hayes (also known as Savage Island)
Described as a ‘swashbuckling adventure’, Nate and Hayes was filmed on location in Pacific Harbour, just out of Suva, in the early 80s. The story takes place in the late 19th century on the South Pacific islands where bloody raid and battles were once the rule of the date. The movie starred Tommy Lee Jones, Michael O’Keefe and Jenny Seagrove.
To learn more about how you can cruise the islands, visit the mainland and check out the fabulous locations of these famous movies, see www.fiji.travel
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