Tauranga filmmaker takes top award

A series of silent short films were shown at Baycourt on Wednesday night, as part of the IYSFF NZ Regional Awards Final. Photos: Brydie Photography.

Young Tauranga filmmaker Tina Jeong has been crowned ‘best of the best' after winning First Place and Best Director in the 2017 International Youth Silent Film Festival New Zealand Regional Awards Final.

The 18-year-old and her silent film Tonight were both celebrated at the red-carpet event held at Baycourt Community and Arts Centre last week.

Along with receiving high praise for her film from 2017 celebrity judges, renowned actor and screenwriter Tim Balme and Bay of Plenty Film CEO Anton Steel, Tina also won a total of $2250 in prize money, which includes the $2000 first place prize sponsored by The New Zealand Broadcasting School.

“This means a lot to me as a student who's just finished school and doesn't have any money,” says Tina.

“I would like to thank my teachers Mrs Beaufoy and Mrs Johnston for all their support and endless love, my friends who helped me make this movie by coming to film at a dark carpark in the middle of the night, and thank you to my parents – I love you guys.”

It is the second year in a row the Year 13 Tauranga Girls' College student has won a top honour in the annual silent filmmaking competition after she placed second in the 2016 IYSFF New Zealand Regional.

Also joining Tina in collecting an award on the night was Gabriella Eaton, who won Best Actor for her work on Tonight.

Metro Marketing's Felcity Salter with celebrity judges Tim Balme and Anton Steel presenting Tina Jeong with her Best Director award.

The other big winners on the night were Mosgiel brothers and second place getters Benaiah and Toby Dunn whose silent film The Chase won four awards and a total of $2250 in prize money, including the $1500 second place prize sponsored by The University of Waikato. Along with securing second place, The Chase also picked up three ‘Best Of' awards for Cinematography, Production Design, and Shot.

And rounding out this year's top three were Tauranga filmmakers Rose McMahon and Samuel Edwards with their silent film The Smile Shop. The duo not only won $1000 in prize money sponsored by Priority One, they each received a famed copy of a poster they designed for The Smile Shop as part of a Poster Competition introduced to the IYSFF New Zealand Regional for the first time this year.

All of the top three filmmakers have been invited to the week-long International Youth Silent Film Festival Final and have their silent films screened during the IYSFF Global Awards Show, which will be taking place in Portland, Oregon, in June 2018.

All of this year's top 12 silent films were screened during the ceremony, with each featuring live musical accompaniment from award-winning organist and IYSFF composer Nathan Avakian who travelled especially from the United States to perform on Baycourt's mighty Wurlitzer Organ.

Baycourt Manager Megan Peacock Coyle thanks everyone involved in delivering this year's competition, especially all of the young filmmakers who submitted entries into the 2017 IYSFF NZ Regional.

“Congratulations to this year's award winners, all of your films were simply outstanding and I am amazed by what you have all created.

“I am really excited, we are in our second year of the IYSFF NZ Regionals and the bar has certainly been lifted in 2017. So thank you for putting your work out there, it is a very brave thing to do, and good luck for the future to all of our top 12 filmmakers – I look forward to seeing all your names in lights in the future.

“Baycourt is very proud to present this event and we see it has an exciting way to showcase the wonderful and Mighty Wurlitzer, so I would also like to thank Nathan Avakian for coming all this way, it is a real honour and pleasure to see such a master on our Wurlitzer.

“And thank you to all the very generous sponsors, it warms my heart to see such an investment in the youth of our country.”



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