A musical comedy co-directed by four young women from Hamilton was announced as The Body Shop Standout Winner at The Someday Awards in Auckland last night.
Today is the Day, made by Hillcrest High School students Bella Cook, Elizabeth Newton-Jackson, Emma Savage and Nowshin Humayun, aged 15 - 16, delighted the judges with its buoyant humour and comedic performances.
For the five-minute film they and their team-mates wrote and performed a musical about a group of intrepid tree-planters who confront environmental vandals in their neighbourhood.
Watch the film at www.theoutlookforsomeday.net/films/2013/109
"The team behind Today is the Day has made a memorable film that deservedly wins this award." said Barrie Thomas, Director of The Body Shop, which is Key Partner of The Outlook for Someday sustainability film challenge for young people.
"It is an exuberant look at how we can all do something in our own backyard, and it combines a serious call to action with a verve and vitality that reflects the talent of these young film-makers. It is a film that demands to be enjoyed."
"The Body Shop is again proud to be associated with The Outlook for Someday. It is wonderful to experience such fantastic films year after year, made by extraordinary, committed and socially-conscious young people."
The prize package won by the directors of Today is the Day includes Unitec courses or film production facilities to the value of $8000, an IPad 2 and screen industry guild memberships for each film-maker.
"The Standout Winner is, for us, a standout favourite - witty, astute, cunning and enormous fun in ways that you wouldn't expect from a film dealing with such serious concerns." said Dr Scott Wilson, Senior Lecturer of the department of Performing and Screen Arts at Unitec.
"To be able to deliver a coherent message about sustainability is one thing. To do it in a musical that will - seriously - leaving you humming the tune for hours afterwards is an achievement I've never before encountered."
"This film is a joy to experience and a testament to the skills and abilities of these young women. Unitec is proud to be associated with such a consummate piece of art."
Lee Stratford, the young women's media teacher at Hillcrest High School says they "revelled in the process" of making the film.
Even though 2013 has only been the first year of Media Studies for Bella, Elizabeth, Emma & Nowshin, "their ability to work together like ‘old hands' through design to post-production has seen them achieve success all through the year. These young women are able to produce work that is visually striking, evocative and quirky."
Today is the Day is one of 20 award-winning films celebrated at the Someday Awards red-carpet ceremony at the Aotea Centre in Auckland last night. The winning film-makers received their prizes from acclaimed New Zealand film-maker Andrew Adamson, who they also met with earlier in the day.
Each film received a special award (listed below) and was in the running to be Element Audience Favourite.
A record 1500 people voted in the online poll, which was won by I'm A Little Molecule of H2O, a love song to water that explores the life-cycle of our most vital resource.
Made by a team from Avalon Intermediate School in Lower Hutt, the film is "genius", says James Russell, Editor of Element Magazine.
"With captivating and varied visuals, the film wraps a biology lesson about the vital force that is water in fresh and funky beats. What more could you ask for?"
Made by individuals and teams from 7 to 24 years old, the winning films tackle social and health issues as well as environmental subjects. They cover shark finning, palm oil, water quality, endangered sea lions, climate change, fair trade, drug addiction and community reuse of resources.
A Judging Team of 12 people from media, education, government and business selected the 20 winners out of 153 entries from all over New Zealand.
Nine of the winning films are from the South Island, which is more than in any of the previous six years of the film challenge.
Now in its 7th year, The Outlook for Someday is New Zealand's sustainability film project for young people. It includes an annual film challenge and a national series of sustainability film-making workshops.1063 young people participated in the film challenge and workshops in 2013.
The Outlook for Someday film challenge asks young people aged up to 24 to make a short sustainability-related film of any genre, filmed with any camera and any length up to 5 minutes.
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SPECIAL AWARD WINNERS
New Zealand Film Commission Film-making Achievement Award
For a film with outstanding creative / technical quality
Bob's Misadventure by Pita Bol from Central New Brighton School (Primary-Intermediate) in Christchurch
Genre: Animated Drama
Synopsis: When Bob arrives on Earth, his expectations of paradise are dashed as he discovers that a vital element is under threat.
Ministry of Youth Development Community Award
For a film which makes a positive community contribution
Today is the Day by a team from Hillcrest High School in Hamilton
Synopsis: A troupe of intrepid tree-planters confronts environmental vandalism in their backyard.
Department of Conservation Big Picture Award
For a film focusing on one or more of the Big Ideas and Values in DOC's Big Picture strategy to connect young people to the natural world
I'm a Little Molecule of H2O by a team from Avalon Intermediate School in Lower Hutt
Genre: Music video
Synopsis: A love song to water that explores the life-cycle of our most vital resource and the need to preserve its integrity.
Te Puni Kokiri Whakatipuranga Award
For a film with a Maori indigenous perspective on sustainability
Tuna: Trash or Taonga? by a team from Wainui Beach School (Primary) in Gisborne
Synopsis: A look at the importance and value of eels in our rivers and why the health of our waterways is so important.
Auckland Council Film-maker Award
For a film by a film-maker or team from the Auckland region
200 Names Confusion by a team from the University of Auckland and Pakuranga College in Auckland
Genre: Public Service Announcement
Synopsis: Having too many names proves to be cause for confusion in this roll-call of alternative titles for one controversial ingredient.
The Movement - Healthy People Award
For a film focusing on health as a sustainability issue
Future by a Skills 4 Life class at YMCA South & Mid Canterbury
Synopsis: A challenging and frank look at the effects of teen drug use and how to support young people to sustain their wellbeing.
Unitec Storytelling Award
For a film with powerful storytelling
Wood Vibrations by Shené Holitzhausen from Aoraki Polytechnic and Will Prosor from the University of Otago
Synopsis: An exploration of the quiet passion behind the craft of building and surfing wooden surfboards.
UNESCO Sustainable Future Award
For a film which promotes dialogue on sustainability through a new perspective and/or critical thinking
Kiwis are Dropping the C-word by Lindsey Horne from the University of Otago
Genre: Public Service Announcement
Synopsis: Generation Zero challenges New Zealand not to give into apathy around climate change.
Enviroschools Young Voices For Change Award
For a film motivating young people and/or decision-makers to be change-makers
15 Ways by Michelle Vergel de Dios from Yoobee School of Design in Auckland
Genre: Public Service Announcement
Synopsis: Fifteen simple ways New Zealand can stay clean, green and pure.
TEAR Fund Social Justice Award
For a film which addresses social justice as a sustainability issue
Go Bananas by a team from Point Chevalier School (Primary) in Auckland
Synopsis: A hard-hitting yet endearing piece of journalism looking at the principles of Fairtrade and why we should shop consciously.
The Someday Ambassadors Teamwork Award
For a film with strong teamwork on and/or off screen
Hunter Meets Pollution Queen by a team from Upokongaro School (Primary-Intermediate) near Whanganui
Synopsis: When the Pollution Queen threatens the rivers, locals take matters into their own hands.
Adobe Digital Media Award
For a film with outstanding editing or animation
Predator by Mason Cade Packer from Kapiti College on the Kapiti Coast
Synopsis: A shocking look at the practice of shark finning in New Zealand with an impassioned plea from concerned activists.
Viewfinder Cinematography Award
For a film with outstanding cinematography
Windows by Ellen Jones-Poole from Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti in Christchurch
Genre: Video Essay
Synopsis: A film about actually seeing.
Rockstock Sustainable Lifestyle Award
For a film focusing on lifestyle change for sustainability
Cows and Cleaner Dairying by Sarah Ridsdale from Palmerston North
Genre: Animated Drama
Synopsis: One concerned cow tackles pollution from dairy farming and discovers a farmer who understands the problem.
Yours Media Empowerment Award
For a film which empowers its viewers and/or its makers
The Bucket Fairy by a team from Freeville School (Primary-Intermediate) in Christchurch
Synopsis: The Bucket Fairy comes to the rescue and teaches the value of being a Bucket Filler not a Bucket Dipper.
Face Television Viewpoint Award
For a film which expresses a clear point of view
Today by Sophie Kemp and Katie Ayling from Victoria University
Genre: Video Essay
Synopsis: Taking a big picture view of the beauty of our natural world, this film reminds us that time is short.
The Erin Simpson Show Secondary School Film-makers Award
For a film made by young people of secondary school age
Free Pile by Ruby Harris and Naomi Ashby-Ryan from Logan Park High School in Dunedin
Synopsis: A film that demonstrates how communities can distribute unwanted goods amongst themselves.
Tearaway Secondary School Performance Award
For a film made by young people of secondary school age with strong on-screen performance
Nearly Lost by Liam van Eeden and Jean-Martin Fabre from Verdon College in Invercargill
Synopsis: This film dispels myths about the endangered New Zealand Sea Lion and demonstrates why it deserves our respect and friendship.
What Now Primary/Intermediate School Film-makers Award
For a film made by young people of primary or intermediate age
Stream Monitoring at Wakapuaka by a team from Hira School in Nelson
Synopsis: An examination of the process a school uses to monitor the health of its local stream.
Upstart Primary/Intermediate School Performance Award
For a film made by young people of primary or intermediate school age with strong on-screen performance.
The Rubbish Wars by a team from Thames South School (Primary-Intermediate)
Synopsis: If we don't change our attitude to rubbish, the future could be monstrous.
THE OUTLOOK FOR SOMEDAY PARTNERS AND SUPPORTERS:
The Outlook for Someday in 2013 is based on partnerships between Connected Media Charitble Trust and The Body Shop New Zealand, The Enviroschools Foundation, the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO, TEAR Fund NZ, the Department of Conservation, Ministry of Youth Development, Te Puni Kokiri, Auckland Council and the Health Promotion Agency.
Unitec is Tertiary Partner. Adobe is Digital Partner.
Funding Partners are ASB Community Trust, Creative New Zealand's Creative Communities Scheme and the New Zealand Film Commission
Media Partners are Element Magazine, Face Television, The Erin Simpson Show, What Now, Tagata Pasifika, Tearaway, Upstart, Viewfinder and YOURS.net.nz
Event Partners are THE EDGE, Austin's Food Design Events and All Good Organics
Paper and Print Partners are Rockstock, B&F Papers and Benefitz.
O'Halloran North Shore is Accountancy Partner. Stephens Lawyers is Honorary Legal Advisor
Industry Partners are Directors and Editors Guild of New Zealand and WIFT NZ.
Project Supporters are Levi's® Stores, ecostore, Orcon, Corporate Consumables, AS Colour, Richardson Design, Karousel Screenprinting, MoFresh, DefenderBags, Lothlorien Organic Fruit Juices, Entirely Sound, Orange Productions, NZ Camera Hire, El Framo, International Public Relations and WWF New Zealand.