December 8 will go down as a very memorable day for some aspiring Kiwi film-makers as the winners of this year’s New Zealand Youth Film Festival have been announced.
Following the Wellington Oscars-inspired ceremony, winners from the 11 categories were revealed, each landing some impressive prizes ranging from Canon camera gear to a tour of the iconic Shortland St film set.
Hosted by comedian and actress Karen O’Leary and presented by the New Zealand Herald, the festival’s director, AUT business and communication studies student Ryan Chow spoke to the Herald, sharing his excitement for the winners and the event, which is in its second year.
“It’s amazing to witness the incredible talent and creativity of our young movie-makers. We’re proud to offer them a platform to shine a light on their work and connect them with industry opportunities in the hopes of kickstarting their careers,” he said.
This year’s winners comprised a fine array of talent, with the festival’s Best Overall Film title going to Flynn Biara Allan for the film Tuned Out, which follows two girls who are trapped in the midst of a war zone, deprived of the basic essentials.
The aspiring film-maker is Australian-born but has spent the majority of his life in New Zealand. The win is yet another impressive title for Allan, who has also won Best International Actor at Sydney’s International Focus on Ability film festival for his work in Eunoia.
Emily McVicar’s action/comedy film Space Cowboys tookout the South Pacific Pictures Best 15-18 Age Group Film category, while O’live me alone - a heartwarming comedy on overcoming the anxieties of life by Beth Davies, won the One New Zealand Best 19-21 Age Group Film division.
Elsewhere, The Colorway Killer - a film by Alex Metaxas following the story of three flatmates trying to find their fourth flatmate after a heated night out - won the Canon Best Cinematography category and the Wētā FX Best Visual Effects category was won by Josh Robertson for his 1800s pre-colonial New Zealand set film, Men Who Went South.
The festival was hosted for the first time in Auckland last year, with 357 entries from across the country and a programme of events that included tours of TVNZ’s studios with newsreader Melissa Stokes. This year entries were up 20 per cent, with a total of 426 from all over Aotearoa.
The New Zealand Youth Film Festival is a non-profit event designed to discover and celebrate the next generation of Aotearoa’s movie-makers.
Full list of winners
Wellington Unesco City of Film Best Overall Film
Tuned Out - Flynn Biara Allan
South Pacific Pictures Best 15-18 Age Group Film
Space Cowboy - Emily McVicar
One New Zealand Best 19-21 Age Group Film
O’live me alone - Beth Davies
Warner Bros. International Television Production New Zealand Best 22-24 Age Group Film
Love is Dead - Dylan Poihipi
South Pacific Pictures Best Acting
For Thom - Rafa Yam
Canon Best Cinematography
The Colorway Killer - Alex Metaxas
Massey University National Academy of Screen Arts Best Directing
In Her Steps - Kit Coira
What the Actual?! Best Documentary
Big Kids - Tom Field
Adobe Best Editing
Eternal Return - Harrison Ashley
Universal Music New Zealand Best Music Video
Deliverance - Lissa Lee
Wētā FX Best Visual Effects
Men Who Went South - Josh Robertson