Young filmmakers come to Unitec for inspiration

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The world’s stare is increasingly on New Zealand and local filmmakers are a big reason for that. The country’s cultural diversity and the general resourcefulness of Kiwis have helped to enrich the New Zealand film industry.

In recent years, Maori and Pasifika filmmakers have made a significant impact with films such as Sione’s Wedding, No. 2, Eagle Vs Shark, Apron Strings and more recently Boy propelling the careers of Oscar Kightley, Toa Fraser, Sima Urale (now a lecturer in directing at Unitec) and Taika Waititi.

This week, the Tautai Arts Trust in partnership with Unitec New Zealand, hope to unveil a new generation of filmmakers. Tautai is running free filmmaking workshops for Auckland secondary students from 14-16 July at Unitec’s Department of Performing and Screen Arts in Mt Albert, Auckland.

The Tautai Fresh Horizon workshops are targeted at achieving Pasifika students with an interest in filmmaking as a future career.

“We are delighted to be hosting these workshops in our Department and pleased to see some of our successful graduates work with the secondary students to provide a unique experience for them that will speak to their Pasifika heritage,” says Athina Tsoulis, Head of the Performing and Screen Arts Department.

Award winning writer and playwright, Oscar Kightley (Sione’s Wedding, bro’ Town) will be a guest speaker on the opening day.

Jerry Tauamiti (director/actor), multi-media artist Leilani Kake and video/digital artist Janet Lilo are joined by Unitec graduates, Venusi Taumoepeau (camera) and Danny Aumua (writing) as tutors and mentors for the workshops.

The students will be introduced to a wide range of screen arts disciplines and in an action-packed three-days, learn new skills such as making music videos and animation, and telling stories using basic script and acting skills.

The workshops will conclude on Friday with an exhibition of the work produced by the students.

The success of the Tautai Fresh Horizon workshops, first held in 2001, has come through providing an opportunity for students to work in a mentoring programme with positive role models, who are established Pacific artists/tutors, all taking place in a supportive environment. Unitec hosted last year’s Fresh Horizon Workshop in contemporary music at its Waitakere campus.

“Tautai’s aim is to give the students a stimulating art experience from positive, experienced Pacific roles models, and reinforce the value of continued education,” says Jean Clarkson, Tautai Fresh Horizons Programme Manager.

“It is part of a stair-casing programme for Tautai. We hope to connect with the students again, if they go into Tertiary education, through our support programmes, and into their lives as practising/working artists.”

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