As Script to Screen runs this year’s edition of its Hokianga Filmmaking Project, 2016 short Natalie, made as part of last year’s edition of the initiative, readies to play the NZIFF as part of the Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts programme.
The film has already played at the Wairoa Film Festival, where it won the award for community contribution to Maori filmmaking.
Natalie was written and directed by first-time filmmaker, Qianna Titore, who is believed to be the youngest filmmaker ever selected for the NZIFF. Titore made the film with guidance from the Script to Screen team and a stellar selection of mentors including: writer/director, Michael Bennett (The Confessions Of Prisoner T, Outrageous Fortune); cinematographer, Leon Narbey (Whale Rider, The Orator); grip, Annie Frear (Lord Of The Rings) and editor, Cushla Dillon (Pike River, The Confessions Of Prisoner T).
“It was about getting out into the community, hearing their stories and getting the local kids enthusiastic. The moment I heard 16-year-old Qianna Titore tell her story…I knew this was both a very Hokianga story, and a quite perfect short film idea.” Michael Bennett
Script to Screen developed an intensive programme, that allowed the rangatahi along with their whanau, teachers and mentors to learn together about storytelling, film and how it can be used to tell a narrative.
Producer Eloise Veber, who’s since left Script to Screen, said, “Gifting these rangatahi with the tools to express these stories within the discipline of film is an absolute pleasure, and the result is a huge reward – for them, their whanau, their community and now the rest of the country.”
Pitched at rangatahi aged 16-25, the Hokianga Filmmaking Project workshops foster and encourage young storytellers.
The New Zealand International Film Festival opens in Auckland on 14 July.