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"MEAT" Makes its Mark at Film Contest


Embargoed till 7.00 am, Tuesday 8th August

"Meat" Makes its Mark at Film Contest

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A movie called "MEAT" has scooped much of the pool at a contest for teenage filmmaking talent.

The comedy drama was last night (Monday) named 'Best Film' in Youthtown's third annual Short Film Challenge.

MEAT's director, seventeen-year-old Chris Campbell from Mount Albert, also picked-up the 'Best Director' and 'Best Script' awards, while one of the film's cast, Edward Benson-Cooper, was named 'Best Actor'.

A capacity crowd at the Academy Cinema in Lorne Street (Central Auckland) was treated to a viewing of seventeen competition entries of between five and fifteen minutes length each, followed by an 'Oscar-style' awards ceremony.

The winning film is about a shy young man's tongue-tied embarrassment when talking to young women. His life takes an amazing turn for the better when a street-wise acquaintance tells him to always keep to the subject of meat.

"It's an elegant, clever and funny film, well directed and well acted by an enthusiastic cast of seventeen and eighteen year olds. As many great comedians have pointed out, humour can be very hard to get right. However, MEAT succeeds magnificently," says Rebecca Duell, Youthtown's Youth Programme Coordinator and the contest's main organiser

"In its wonderfully light-hearted way, the film actually deals with some serious and significant teenage concerns, such as attraction, self-image and self-esteem. In all sorts of ways, it was truly the pick of a very fine crop.

"This year's contest has been awesomely successful, with more than twice as many films submitted as last year, including several of very high quality. There's also been a great mixture of genres and styles, testifying to a huge well of filmmaking talent amongst young New Zealanders," she adds.

Chris Campbell described MEAT as a team effort between himself and the group of friends he persuaded to act in the film.

"When I heard about the contest, I asked them if they wanted to embarrass themselves in front of my camera. None of them had acted on film before and I had no idea they'd turn out to be so good," he says.

As Best Director, Chris is to receive a free place on a week-long film and television introductory course at the Southseas Film, Television and Animation School. As winners of the Best Film award, the MEAT team have received a Sony Mini DV Handycam, donated by 'The Appliance Shed'.

Other awards handed-out last night were for 'Best Cinematographer' and 'Best Musical Score'. In addition, all films entered were required to include the line:"You said that's all", with an award going for 'Best Use of Line'. A further award was for the best use of a timepiece as a prop.

Youthtown is a not-for-profit organisation which seeks to help young people express themselves, develop skills and build self-esteem in safe, open and stimulating environments.


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