The Bilum Story

The Bilum Story is a short film about how the revaluing of ancient cultural art forms is weaving new futures for women in Papua New Guinea.

The Australian High Commission will virtually launch on 24 February the short film ‘The Bilum Story’ to celebrate the remarkable PNG women social entrepreneurs who 10 years ago began to shine a spotlight on bilum as a national treasure, and driving inclusive economic growth for women weavers.

The bilum story is an incredible example of the transformative power of the creative and cultural industry. The possibilities are evident when emerging entrepreneurs, have effective access to international markets, support to strengthen their supply chains and are empowered to share their creativity and culture with the world.

Australia through the PNG-Australia Partnership has supported entrepreneurs like Florence Jaukae Kamel and her vision for the Goroka Bilum Festival by providing strategic capacity building along the bilum value chain. Pacific Trade Invest Australia helped Florence and key artisans to take bilum to the world stage and find international buyers.

With a little help, the film explores how the entrepreneurship and vision of these women can lead to great commercial success and inclusive economic growth. There is now a network of over a thousand weavers across the country, exporting bilum to the world and increasing their income and wellbeing through culture and community.

The film will be released with a virtual screening from 24 February –10 March and it is hoped that this story will inspire more focus and investment into PNG’s rich creative and cultural industry potential.

Carol Kidu