With its magnificent beaches, turquoise seas and a spectacular active volcano, Kokopo has already stolen the heart of the team.
Survivor is a part competition, part docu-drama, which continues to be the centrepiece of broadcasting schedules around the world and currently airing in more than 50 countries.
It is a much followed TV show among PNG households and will soon be a platform to market PNG to the world.
Over the last six days, Survivor scouts were in the country, scouting locations and yesterday presented a proposal to the government to establish Kokopo as a hub for its Survivor productions.
Survivor aims to film at least three full series of the show simultaneously while promoting PNG on an international stage.
Kokopo is their preferred base for production focusing on the Duke of York and the surrounding locations of Rabaul and Kokopo. The first series will start with Doy then move to other locations which include Rabaul, Gazelle, Lasul and Inland Baining and Pomio.
Joa Larback, location producer for various Survivor productions over the past 15 years, was invited to assess the potential of East New Britain.
Every year, between 20-30 Survivor productions are made and Larback believes Kokopo has the potential to become a key location for many of these.
“I have travelled all over the world seeking locations for Survivor, but what I found in Kokopo was very special. It’s an untouched paradise with a very rich culture, backed up by good infrastructure."
Following the government’s approval, the pre-production phase will commence in March, 2017 and run for approximately six weeks.
The actual filming of all the action sequences involving the contestants will take an additional 7 weeks, commencing mid-to-late April, 2017.
If all goes well, there may be additional opportunities to use the location for other Survivor productions scheduled for 2018 and beyond.
PNG Survivor Founding Committee including Donald Kunai (Chief Executive Officer, Office of the Governor ENB), Joa Larback (Location Producer Survivor), Diuvia Kopman (Kokopo Town Mayor), Gard Renson (CEO Tourism Authority East New Britain), Frida Aaberg (Executive Producer Nice Entertainment Group) Jamie Pang (Rapopo), Jack Bourke (Regional General Manager NGI, Digicel PNG) among the team.