After a hugely successful weekend at our annual South Auckland Short Film Workshop, we are excited to be able to announce the six talented storytellers whose pitches incited the imaginations and attentions of our guest judges.

Participants of the free two-day workshop, held at MIT School of Visual Arts in Otara, were encouraged to bring a short film idea to work on while hearing sessions on screenwriting, directing, casting and working with actors. The sessions were delivered by experienced filmmakers including actor/writer/director Rene Naufahu, writer/director Michael Bennett, writer/director Zia Mandviwalla, casting director Yvette Reid and actor/director Rachel House. At the end of the workshop all 28 participants were given 4 minutes to pitch their short film idea to experienced industry professionals.

Congratulations to the following winners, and their pitched ideas:

Vela Manusaute – The Messiah
Levi Matautia-Morgan – Whakarongo
Mary Campbell and Maria Walker – Matakite
Louise Tu’u – Déjeuner
Lene Aiono – The Cut Doctor and the Boxer
Isaac Weeks – Lost

These winners will be offered a place on our new six-month mentorship programme in which they will be guided by industry professionals through the filmmaking process. The ultimate aim of each mentorship will be to get each short film off the ground, whether this means writing a script, preparing for a funding application, or making the film on a micro-budget.

Warmest thanks to our judges who made the tough decisions: writer/director Michael Bennett (Te Arawa) and Performing Arts Tutor at MIT, Chris Molloy (Ngati Manawa, Ngai Tuhoe). Also thanks to Whetu Fala (NZFC) for her presence and support at the workshop. The calibre of the pitches this year was phenomenal, and truly exemplary of the quality of the stories and storytellers in the South Auckland community.

This pilot programme is made possible through financial assistance from the ASB Community Trust.


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