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4 of 23 NZ finals of youth silent film festival


Tauranga will roll out the red carpet on November 22 for the 2017 International Youth Silent Film (IYSFF) New Zealand Regional Awards final.

The competition, which challenges filmmakers, aged 20 and under, to create a three-minute silent film set to one of 10 musical scores, this year accepted 35 entries for judging in New Zealand and, following robust discussion by a panel of jurors, the Top 12 films have been selected for showing at the red-carpet awards night at Baycourt Community & Arts Centre.

The Top 12 films will be accompanied live by award-winning organist and the IYSFF composer Nathan Avakian who is travelling from the United States to play Baycourt’s Mighty Wurlitzer organ, one of only three such instruments in the country.

The IYSFF made its New Zealand debut last year, thanks to the enthusiasm of Baycourt manager Megan Peacock Coyle who saw it as a chance to showcase the theatre’s Mighty Wurlitzer and offer a new opportunity for youth to participate in the arts.

“The bar was set very high with last year’s entries,” she says, “but almost unbelievably, the 2017 entries have raised that bar even higher – we have been blown away by the quality, craftsmanship, and storytelling.”

This year’s film-makers are competing for a total cash prize pool of $6500 across 10 categories, with the winners of each category to be chosen by Tauranga-born actor, scriptwriter and director Tim Balme, and Bay of Plenty Film chief executive and director Anton Steel.

Awards include a $2000 first prize sponsored by The New Zealand Broadcasting School, a $1500 second prize sponsored by The University of Waikato, a $1000 third prize sponsored by Priority One, and a $750 highly commended prize sponsored by South Pacific Pictures.

Also up for grabs are five $250 prizes sponsored by Metro Marketing (Best Director), Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology (Best Actor & Best Cinematography/Special FX), Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School (Best Production Design), Campbell Squared (Editing), and Bay of Plenty Film (Best Shot).

“I would like to congratulate the Top 12 filmmakers selected this year, each of your films are simply outstanding and we hope you enjoyed making them as much as we enjoyed watching them,” Ms Peacock Coyle says. “We cannot wait to screen your films and share your talents with the world at the NZ Regional Awards Final on November 22.”

Ahead of the IYSFF NZ Regional Awards Final, all 35 films accepted for judging this year will be screened at Baycourt on Tuesday, November 21, from 4.30pm. Entry is free.

The 2017 International Youth Silent Film Festival New Zealand Regional Awards Final is at Baycourt Community and Arts Centre, Tauranga, on Wednesday, November 22 at 7pm. Tickets are $12 (children aged 14 and under are free), available from or the Baycourt box office, Durham Street, Tauranga.


Sidebar: The top 12 silent films competing in this year’s New Zealand Regional Final of the International Youth Silent Film Festival are:

Arvalon, Sophie Webster and Shyanne Erueti (Tauranga Girls’ College); Butchered, Simon Barrett (Otumoetai College, Tauranga); kooky, Sophia Kwon (Carmel College, Auckland); Nowhere Left to Run, Trinity Smith (Te Kura Correspondence School, Taupo); Oedipus Rex, Ysabella Stevenson (Mahurangi College, Auckland); Shadow of Scarlet, Sarah Kolver (University of Auckland); Study Period, Samuel Chitty (Mahurangi College, Auckland); Teddy, Natalie Hayman (Tauranga Girls’ College); The Chase, Benaiah Dunn (Taieri College, Mosgiel); The Smile Rose McMahon (home-schooled, Pongakawa, Bay of Plenty); Tonight, Tina Jeong (Tauranga Girls’ College); Wall IV, Raymond Feng (Lynfield College, Auckland).

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