Arboraceous, a 4 minute short film by 16 year old New Zealand student Natasha Bishop, has been nominated for the prestigious Japan Wildlife Film Festival (JWFF), where it will compete with 42 other films made by the likes of the BBC, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) and other international broadcasting giants.
The film was made last year as an entry to The Outlook for Someday sustainability film challenge for young people, where it was chosen by the judges as The Body Shop Standout Winner.
The nomination of Arboraceous is an outstanding achievement for Natasha, who created both the animation and the music in her film. She is the youngest film-maker to have a film nominated in the 20 year history of the JWFF, which is the largest event of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region.
Arboraceous is a whimsical take on humanity’s need to take care of the only planet we have.
The film can be watched here.
“When I started to make this film I thought about the word sustainability and what it means to me. It’s about renewing what we have,” said Natasha Bishop, who lives in Whitby in the Wellington region. “And I wanted to get the message of sustainability across without using any dialogue so that people can hear it whatever language they speak.”
“The nomination to JWFF is a thrilling achievement and testament to Natasha’s great skill as a film-maker,” said Barrie Thomas, Director of The Body Shop New Zealand, which is Key Partner of The Outlook for Someday.
“For Arboraceous to be nominated alongside films made by the BBC and to screen to such a wide audience outside New Zealand is a real coup.”
The film also received the Department of Conservation Big Picture Award at The Someday Awards red-carpet ceremony in Auckland last year. The award is for a film focusing on one or more of the Big Ideas and Values in DOC’s Big Picture strategy to connect young people to the natural world.
“It’s a complex idea to grasp, that we are all part of one great ecosystem,” said Al Morrison, Director General of DOC which is a national partner of The Outlook for Someday.
“There is a growing gap in understanding about how we rely on the planet’s biodiversity for our health and wellbeing. But Arboraceous skilfully captures and communicates this idea in an appealing way that we can all understand. To do so is a real challenge for anyone, but so wonderful that it comes from a strong youth voice.”
This is the second time a Standout Winner in The Outlook for Someday film challenge has gone on to be nominated for a major international film festival. In 2010 The Break Up, which was made by 18 year-old Charlee Collins from Kaitaia, was a finalist at the Wildscreen Festival in the UK.
“International acclaim like this for young New Zealand film-makers shows how they can be successful doing what they love, making films about what they believe in,” said David Jacobs, Director of The Outlook for Someday.
“As we work to support this generation of film-makers, we don’t just see them as creating products. Film-making is about culture building, being a citizen and contributing to national and international dialogue. We are encouraging young people to make films as cultural acts.”
The Outlook for Someday is an annual film challenge and a national series of sustainability film-making workshops. 955 young people from throughout New Zealand participated in the project in 2012 and there were a record 191 entries to the film challenge.
This year 33 workshops – the largest number ever scheduled – are being held throughout the country between May and August. They include a pilot series of two Maori-focused workshops specifically for tamariki and rangatahi Maori, one in Auckland and the other in Wellington.
The workshops are open to students from school years 7 to 13 as well as teachers and youth workers, offering an opportunity for young people and adults to upskill together.
Registrations for this year’s workshops are now open on The Outlook for Someday website: http://www.theoutlookforsomeday.net/workshops
Spaces are limited to 25 participants per workshop.
At the same time five half-hour programmes are to be broadcast by Face Television featuring the 20 Winning Films from the film challenge in 2012 and The Someday Awards ceremony.
The programmes will be on Sky channel 083 for five weeks from 15 May at 8.30pm.
Full details of each of the five programmes are on The Outlook for Someday website: http://www.theoutlookforsomeday.net/screenings
Japan Wildlife Film Festival (JWFF)
Receiving over 400 film entries from more than 50 countries, the biennial JWFF is attended by 40,000 members of the public who come from all over Japan to watch high quality natural history films over the four-day event. The festival screens nominated films at theatres that open to the public free of charge.
This year the festival will be held on 8 – 11 August.
The Outlook for Someday
Now in its 7th year, The Outlook for Someday is New Zealand’s sustainability film project for young people. It includes an annual film challenge and a national series of sustainability film-making workshops.
The culmination of the project each year is The Someday Awards red-carpet ceremony, which for the last two years has been held at the Aotea Centre in Auckland and attended by more than 350 people of whom half were young people.
The Outlook for Someday film challenge asks young people aged up to 24 to make a short sustainability-related film of any genre, filmed with any camera and any length up to 5 minutes.
498 films have been entered into the challenge since it began in 2007. In 2012 a record 191 films were entered.
20 Winning Films are chosen each year by a Judging Team of media, education, government and business people. In 2012 they were made by individuals and teams from 7 to 24 years old from all over New Zealand, tackling subjects ranging from climate change and recycling to the sustainability of language and culture.
One of the Winning Films is also chosen as The Body Shop Standout Winner. This year its director will again receive Unitec courses or film production facilities to the value of $8000.
Project Director David Jacobs says sustainability is about balance and respect. “It is about having an awareness of environmental and health issues, social and economic development, human rights and peace. Our relationships with each other and our planet are at the forefront of this project.”