Power Meri: PNG women's rugby league team on film

6:28 pm on 10 October 2018

It's hoped a new documentary on the journey of the Papua New Guinea women's rugby league team to the 2017 World Cup will help change attitudes to women.

PNG Orchids players reflect on their World Cup experience.

PNG Orchids players reflect on their World Cup experience. Photo: NRL Photos

The film, Power Meri, tells the Orchids' story through the voices of its players and is set to premiere this week at the PNG Human Rights Film Festival.

Its maker, Joanna Lester, said she hoped people would be inspired as they watched the team take on the country's male dominated sport.

"If people in PNG start to see rugby league their national sport and their national heros as being a place for women as well as men that might have flow on effects to other industries, other jobs, other parts of society and other places where women haven't had many opportunities or much respect in the past," Ms Lester said.

Feed back from young people who had seen the movie had encouraged the director that her film could have an impact, she said.

"We had a preview screening in Brisbane where a 10-year-old boy came up to one of the Orchids players and said 'thank you for that film, it's made me think differently about how I treat girls.'"

Power Meri, which is a combination of English and the Tok Pisin word for women, plays on the opening night of the festival on Thursday in Port Moresby.

Ms Lester said she hoped to take it to other fim festival around the world.

"There are so few films made about Papua New Guinea and so films made about PNG women in particular that I would really like people in parts of the world who never get to hear anything about PNG to learn a bit about it through this film."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs