On the 2nd and 3rd of May, 2015, Script to Screen held a weekend long film workshop in South Hokianga around developing story ideas for the screen. The workshop was open to anyone in the community with an interest in film and storytelling, with a special focus on rangatahi. The workshop attracted a mix of adults and young people aged 15-25 yrs old, as well as their teachers.

The group spent the first day with screenwriter Michael Bennett at the Rawene Northtec Campus, learning about the fundamentals of screenwriting and finding the heart of their story. Attendees were encouraged to come with a film idea that they could work on over the weekend. An overnight stay at Tuhirangi Marae in Waima allowed the group to develop a sense of community around a shared interest in filmmaking, and Script to Screen showed a selection of short films. Day Two was a chance for the participants to take a personal or a fictional story and learn how to structure it in a way that would captivate an audience. Each film idea pitch received feedback and advice from the panel including screenwriter Michael Bennett, local filmmaker Susy Pointon, and workshop organiser Eloise Veber.

A key outcome of the workshop was to give four of the youth participants a mentorship to progress their film project.

The judges were blown away by the strength of the film ideas pitched, which told moving personal stories and captured moments of local history including the loss of Te Reo, and the Dog Tax Wars of 1989. Script to Screen is thrilled to offer mentorships to four promising filmmakers. Caylynn Titore (16, Northland College), Qianna Titore (15, Northland College), William Hohepa (17, Northland Colllege), and Francesca Blaikie (17, Okaihau College), will work with industry mentors to develop and make their films this year.

Lahni Sowter of Tuhirangi Marae attended the workshop and was energised by seeing the young people develop their story ideas. “We are natural orators here in the North, and I believe that the medium of filmmaking and visual storytelling will play a vital role in preserving our culture and history, enabling us to keep our korero, our stories, and our reo alive for future generations.”

This workshop was made possible with support from Foundation North.


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