Loten Namling_1.png
Loten Namling_2.png

The Ethnokino Award of Life Time Recognition 2021 celebrates the ethnographic documentary ‘The Healer and the Psychiatrist’, as the result of twenty three years of committed research in Tonga, realised through culturally appropriate and valued process, and as part of continued contribution to Tongan health. We award the prize to the medical and visual anthropologist, Dr Mike Poltorak, at the midpoint of the life of a film born of responsibility and commitment to improved health care in Tonga and for the Tongan diaspora. The documentary has gained global recognition through screenings at global festivals and events and has won awards such as Best Feature Film for the Society of Visual Anthropology Film and Media Festival, Best Cinematography for the Collected Voices Film Festival as well as a commendation for the Richard Werbner Award for Visual Ethnography.  This Award draws attention to the life time commitment made by Dr Poltorak demonstrated by the building and tending of relationships in Tonga, also demonstrated by the allied interactive project, Project Pouono. We also recognise the degree to which the Healer and the Psychiatrist follows a series of documentaries that have also involved long and sensitive involvement in  communities, related to the theme of social health. The films include  Fun(d)raising: The Secret of Tongan Comedy (2010), One Week West of Molkom (2013) and Five Ways In(2014).