Thursday, December 2, 2010

[pima.nius] Diversity film projects given airing in second Flavorz festival

10:30 AM |

Diversity film projects given airing in second Flavorz festival

Flavorz10 logo

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Courtney Wilson

Films showcasing New Zealand's ethnic diversity will be shown at AUT University's second Flavorz film festival tonight.

Seven films, made by AUT students, which highlight important issues in the Māori, Pasifika and Asian communities have been chosen for tonight's screening.

The films range from two short dramas with distinctive Māori or Pasifika themes, which will address tradition and history, to those that are firmly placed in the modern experience and three non-fiction works that represent the cultural diversity of the students.

The best films -  made by first, second and third year students – are selected for the festival by AUT lecturer James Nicholson and the School of Communication Studies' television major.

They receive a prize-winning certificate and cash prizes totalling $1000 from the Pacific Media Centre.

Both fiction and non-fiction will be shown, both portraying cultural life experiences in different ways.

Nicholson says work was selected based on the subject matter and the standard of the productions.

Life experience
"When students are writing fiction stories, we encourage them to look to their own life experiences for story ideas. When people write about things that are important to them, their cultural background inevitably informs their stories," says Nicholson.

"In the development of non-fiction work, we urge students to look beyond the surface of the events they depict, and this frequently leads to an examination of social and cultural issues.

"So while we don't we don't specifically tell students to pursue cultural themes, we believe that stories of substance usually reflect cultural issues."

Last year's winner of the festival Sophie Johnson thinks Flavorz is a great opportunity for students to create and air Māori and Pasifika films that are not usually broadcast through mainstream networks.

Johnson feels many good Māori and Pasifika films are being made. However, mainstream media are not showing them.

She says television networks should work towards creating diversity in programming for the general public to enjoy and appreciate.

Nicholson says publicly screening students' work builds confidence and brings their work to the attention of media professionals.

Broadcast worthy
"When [students] see a work alongside an audience, they perceive it in a new way."

"They recognise that their video is not just an assignment task, but a work that stands on its own, communicates a message and may be worthy of public broadcast."

Students will receive industry feedback from John Utanga,  of Television New Zealand.

Flavorz organiser Isabella Rasch said the first festival last year drew a packed, diverse audience of students' friends, families, lecturers and community representatives.

"It was a very successful event."

* The Flavorz film festival 2010, sponsored by the Pacific Media Centre and School of Communication Studies, will be held tonight at AUT's main lecture theatre WA220 on the City Campus from 6 to 7.30pm. It is also a prelude to the Investigative Journalism conference at AUT this weekend.

Courtney Wilson is a graduating Bachelor of Communication Studies student journalist on an internship with AUT's Pacific Media Centre.

pacific islands media association
aotearoa, new zealand
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