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Aspiring filmmaker wearing one tshirt for 126 days

FINAL DRAFT 28 February 2008
Media release
For Immediate Release

Aspiring filmmaker wearing one t-shirt for 126 days to make dream reality

One t-shirt is the key to getting an aspiring young New Zealand filmmaker to the New York Film Academy – the 'Harvard' of film education.

24-year old Jamie Lawrence has been accepted to attend the prominent Film Academy from July – November this year and is raising funds to get there by promising to wear one t-shirt for all 126 days of his study. Acting as a walking talking billboard, Lawrence is putting the names of all his sponsors on the back of the t-shirt under the heading 'They've got my back!'

Huffer, the cool of NZ street-wear who have recently launched in the US, are supporting Lawrence by providing masses of limited edition t-shirts that will have all the sponsors logos on the back. And while the tees have started to gather a few logos Jamie is still on the lookout for plenty more sponsors to 'get his back'.

Arts Waikato was the first to get on board by contributing to his study fees. "It was Jamie's enthusiasm and ability to make things happen which helped his scholarship application stand out," said Arts Waikato Advisor Hilary Falconer. "We need people like Jamie with a combination of passion and specialised skills to realise their potential."

Swinson Wallcoverings, Contact Energy, The Museum Hotel and Orbit Corporate Travel Wellington soon followed suit with financial support. Other supporters include Park Road Post Production, Pandoro Bakery and Huffer.

At the New York Film Academy Lawrence will study screenwriting and acting for film, a subject he is more than familiar with. He is currently working on Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones and last year worked with renowned director James Cameron on Avatar. He has also worked on Peter Jackson's King Kong and The Lord of the Rings films and has produced several short films of his own.

Lawrence says his sponsorship still has a way to go but the response so far has been amazing.

"I'm incredibly stoked and so grateful to gain sponsorship from people who not only believe in my dream but also who believe in me. It's pretty humbling.

I expect wearing copies of the same branded t-shirt for four months will make people curious about who my sponsors are. Then I just have to go for the eye of the tiger and accomplish an Oscar nominated film that will ensure their contribution was all worth while!" he laughs.

This opportunity to attend the New York Film Academy is unparalleled as an aspiring filmmaker with its 'learning-by-writing' designed environment. It will enable Jamie to investigate the infrastructure and resources in New York at the pinnacle of the international film industry. But he stresses that his commitment is to pursue his ambition to make films at home in New Zealand.

If you are interested in finding out more about or supporting Jamie Lawrence to the New York Film Academy visit


A bit about Jamie Lawrence:

• (2006) Arts Waikato Scholarship recipient.
• (2002) Graduate of South Seas Film & Television School – Producing, Directing & Scriptwriting.
• (2001) A huge fan of Titanic, he built a 9ft replica scale model of the famed ship – exhibited in The Waikato Museum of Art & History and The Auckland Maritime Museum.

A bit about the New York Film Academy:

• The Academy was founded in 1992 on a belief that a top quality education in filmmaking should be accessible to anyone with the drive and ambition to make films.
• The Academy opened its doors in 1992 in Robert DeNiro's Tribeca Film Center. Since that time they have grown into facilities in Manhattan's Union Square and Soho.
• The New York Film Academy is considered one of the most prominent fixtures of film education in the world.

Other quotes from sponsors:

"The Museum Hotel is famous for two things, being wheeled across the road to a new location, and its support of the artistic community. Jamie represents the best of both worlds, an "entrepreneurial artist."
Chris Parkin, Owner - The Museum Hotel

"Jamie's sponsorship approach was really very well done and quite impressive! We are glad to have helped Jamie and wish him all the very best with his fabulous dream! We look forward to seeing his name on the big screen in the near future."
Pamela Beazley, Manager - Pandoro

"Orbit Corporate Travel Wellington, is proud to be able to support Jamie in pursuing his dream in New York. As a locally owned and operated company, we see helping Jamie as a great investment in not only his future, but also the future of Wellington, and of New Zealand. The world needs more talented and driven Kiwi's like Jamie that believe they can take on the world. Good luck Jamie - we've got your back."
Orbit Corporate Travel Wellington

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