Gold for 'distinguished' Tauranga film-maker

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Matt Leamy (left) and Distinguished Gentlemen's Ride organiser Wayne Cockburn with the snippet of Mr Leamy's film in the background. Photo/supplied
Matt Leamy (left) and Distinguished Gentlemen's Ride organiser Wayne Cockburn with the snippet of Mr Leamy's film in the background. Photo/supplied

A Tauranga man's efforts at capturing a charity event designed to raise awareness around men's health have rewarded with gold in a national photography competition.

Photographer and film-maker Matt Leamy filmed the local October 9 Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, which was aimed at shining a spotlight on prostate cancer and men's mental health. The video won a coveted gold award from the Photographic Society of NZ.

Mr Leamy won top honours in the Jack Sprosen Memorial Trophy for digital audio visual sequences, judged last weekend.

Mr Leamy, director and co-owner of Tauranga-based Blue Chilli Productions, thanked the event's volunteers for his win.

He said the ride had become a global phenomenon, with more than 57,000 bikers taking part in 600 events around the world. In Tauranga, 73 men took part.

''What better way to bring these sensitive issues to the fore than to link them with that most manly of leisure pursuits - big blokey motorbikes. And the fact that it raised more than $3.6 million for charity globally shows that it really is making a valuable contribution both financially and in terms of awareness,'' Mr Leamy said.

Wayne Cockburn, who organised the event with Damian Fleming, said: "We're absolutely thrilled with local support for the event.

"And we're absolutely wrapped with Matt's win. He's a hugely talented guy and we're extremely fortunate to have had his support.''

The gold-medal winning audio visual brings together editorial style photography with live commentary, seemingly effortless editing and Great Gatsby era music.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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