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Youthtown's Short Film Challenge Returns


For release: 11 April 2008

In Search of New Zealand's Next Wave of Talent

Youthtown's Short Film Challenge Returns


The search is on for New Zealand's next wave of filmmaking talent.

Young people in the 13 to 18 age group from across the country are being invited to enter their work into the fifth annual Youthtown Short Film Challenge, with awards for acting, directing, music, cinematography, editing and scriptwriting, as well as for the 'Best Film', all up for grabs.

For the first time ever, there will also be a special award for the 'Best Documentary'. In addition, as in previous years, there will be awards for the best use of a compulsory prop and of a compulsory line that needs to be part of the script.

Originally an Auckland-only contest, the event last year welcomed contestants from other parts of New Zealand, with a Wellington entrant taking-out the cinematography award. Nationwide participation is again expected this year.

"We're very excited about our 2008 Short Film Challenge. The level of entries has gone up a notch each year since we started and we're expecting the same to happen this time round. There seems to be no shortage of talent out there and we're delighted to be helping to bring it forward," says the competition's organiser, Jewelz Petley.

"The Challenge attracts a great diversity of styles and genres. For instance, last year's Best Film, simply entitled 'A Film', was a taut, violent and tragic drama, based loosely around the Virginia Tech shootings in the United States. In contrast, our 2006 winner was a light, stylish comedy, called 'Meat'. The one thing both films had in common was their across-the-board quality, in terms of production, direction, camera work and acting," she adds.

Entries to the contest must be received by Youthtown by 25th July 2008. They will be judged by a panel of film industry experts, pending a red carpet 'Oscar style' premier night and presentation ceremony in Auckland during August.

Meanwhile, Youthtown will be holding its Short Film Workshops, every Saturday between May 10th and June 28th at its Central Auckland hub in Nelson Street, from 11.00 am to 2.00 pm.

"Participation in our workshops isn't compulsory for entering the Short Film Challenge. However, many previous contestants have found them very useful, particularly if they're newcomers to filmmaking.

"The workshops are also a symbol of our commitment to supporting the next generation of New Zealand filmmakers. Some of those taking part may well find themselves following in the footsteps of the superb directors, actors and technicians who've put our country's cinema on the map, whilst others will develop into skilled amateurs, with a hugely enjoyable hobby," says Jewelz.

Youthtown is a charitable trust that helps young people express themselves, develop skills and build self-esteem, in safe, open and stimulating environments. The organisation is holding its fifth Short Film Challenge in association with South Seas Film, Television & Animation School, a renowned seedbed of filmmaking talent.

Along with a trophy, the winners of this year's Best Film award are to receive $2,000 worth of gift vouchers, generously provided by Harvey Norman Commercial, Wairau Park. A prize of $500 worth of Harvey Norman vouchers will go to the runners-up.

Meanwhile, along with the 'Best Director','Best Actor' and 'Best Actress' trophies will come free entry to a South Seas 'Introduction to Television Production Course'.

Auckland City Council is to present a Canon Digital Video Camcorder to the winner in the new Best Documentary category.


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