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Surviving the quakes: Children tell their stories

Media release:
22 February 2012
Surviving the quakes: Children tell their stories

On the first anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake, a short film will be launched which captures the voices of children who experienced the succession of devastating earthquakes. Voices of Children, was made by director and producer Anna Cottrell, a former Cantabrian, who experienced the horror and sadness from afar.

“I saw my hometown with its broken heart and felt helpless. But when I heard or read children’s accounts I saw their optimism and wanted to record those stories on film”, says Ms Cottrell.

Voices of Children is an edited version of many hours of children’s stories. Anna Cottrell did not want to film children who were grieving or whose families were grieving over lost loved ones but to focus on children whose optimism and humour gave glimpses of a brighter future.

With funds from the Families Commission and the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO, Anna made three trips to Christchurch to record children’s accounts - initially for the archives and the web.

“I decided to edit a short film out of the footage because through it all, children’s optimism, resilience and quirky humour shines through. At this time of profound sadness for many people Voices of Children – children’s stories give us all hope,” she says.

Chief Families Commissioner, Carl Davidson, himself a Christchurch resident, says the Families Commission was proud to support the development of this film. “The Families Commission felt that this was a great opportunity to capture the stories and experiences of Christchurch families through the eyes of children.”

“This is a piece of social history, which is both enlightening and heart-warming. Children are so honest and often ‘tell it how it is’. This is a positive indication that Christchurch will rebuild itself and once again being a truly amazing place to live for children and their families” says Mr Davidson.

“Voices of Children shows just how incredibly resilient children can be with the support of their parents, families and whānau. Children always look to their parents or caregivers for signals on how to behave and in stressful situations this guidance is so much more important.”

Voices of Children will show at The Film Archive in Wellington at 12.30pm and 6pm on Wednesday 22 February.


Notes to editor

Anna Cottrell is AC Productions Director and Producer and is available for interviews on the film, please contact Lucy Kennelly at the Families Commission.

When: Wednesday, 22 February 2012
Where: The Film Archive, Wellington location detail

Time: 12:30 pm & 6pm
Running time: 15 minutes
Ticket price: Free or Koha to Red Cross Canterbury Earthquake appeal

© Scoop Media

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