A touching film about grief created by a 14-year-old boy is the Standout Winner of the annual film competition, the Someday Challenge.
Luka Wolfgram’s Dear Grief is a beautiful and poetic reflection of his relationship with grief following the loss of his younger brother Kosta to cancer. Luka’s previous film about Kosta, Our Superheroes, was a winning film in the Someday Challenge 2016.
Judges commended Luka’s courage in sharing a deeply personal journey and praised his storytelling talent. They observed that as a film-maker he had grown enormously during the two years since he last entered.
“It’s all for my brother, Kosta,” says Luka. “It’s my way of keeping his spirit and story alive.”
Luka also took out the Māori Television Whakatipuranga Award for a second entry, What Matters Is, a drama about the importance of staying connected to our culture and of enjoying the simple things in life.
“Recently I’ve been wanting to connect more with my Māori roots and I’ve also been wanting to work on myself by focusing on the simple things like being kind and giving back to others. My way of expressing this was to make What Matters Is.
“It’s my first drama so it was quite a challenge organising the script, the actors, locations and shooting schedule, but it worked out pretty well.
“Film-making is my passion and I just love being able to make a difference and raise issues that aren’t talked about enough.”
Other awards were made to entrants from Southland, Canterbury, Wellington, Manawatu, Waikato, the Bay of Plenty and Auckland.
South Auckland was especially strongly represented with awards going to students at Manurewa Intermediate, Manurewa High, Alfriston College and Mission Heights High, as well as Papatoetoe sister and brother Irava and Makea Upu.
All winners were honoured this Thursday, 6 December 6, at a ceremony at St Matthew-in-the-City in Auckland.
The Someday Challenge calls for rangatahi up to age 24 to make change with film by creating a short film on a theme of sustainability.
This year’s 133 entries map the concerns of the youth of Aotearoa with topics such as screen addiction, mental wellbeing, sexual assault, dementia, cultural identity and environmental issues.
A wide range of genres was represented including documentary, drama, claymation and spoken word.
Judges included past Someday Challenge winners Isaiah Tour and Ruby Harris, as well as representatives from Stuff, New Zealand Film Commission, Māori Television, Department of Conservation, Ministry of Youth Development, Auckland Council, the Health Promotion Agency and the Vista Foundation.
You can watch the winning films on The Outlook for Someday
Vista Foundation Media Empowerment Award
Dear Grief is a beautiful and poetic reflection on the film-maker’s relationship with grief following the loss of his younger brother to cancer.
This film was created by Luka Wolfgram, 14, a student at ACG Strathallan College, South Auckland. Rated PG.
Luka’s other entry, What Matters Is, won the Māori Television Whakatipuranga Award
What Matters Is
Māori Television Whakatipuranga Award
Teenage Ana is not very impressed when her mum instructs her to deliver food to the marae but once there, she makes an unexpected and exciting discovery – her past.
This drama, What Matters Is, was created by Luka Wolfgram, 14, from Auckland. It has a G rating. Luka’s other entry, Dear Grief, is the Standout Winner.
STUFF AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD
Heihei Primary/Intermediate School Performance Award
We hear so much about the problems of waste that it can feel hard to know what to do. However, this recycling squad has a plan of attack…
A Difference was created by students and a teacher from Maeroa Intermediate School; Poppy Peate, Claire Cruse, Kaitlin Hay, Weiyi Jiang, Liam Parry, Alysha Watene, and Yubin Han. It has a G rating.
A Conversation About The Weather
Photogear Cinematography Award
A Conversation About The Weather is a touching slice-of-life documentary about a young man’s relationship with his grandmother who is affected by dementia.
This film has been created by Auckland student Hunter Williams, 19 and is rated PG.
All for One Lockers Project
Karma Cola People and Planet Award
The All For One Lockers Project tracks the work of a group of teenagers who built lockers where local homeless people could store their possessions.
This film was made by and features the work of students at Manurewa High School in South Auckland; Yashna Kumar and Shaylah Castle-Mokaraka, 15, and Shanelle McKinny, 10. Rated PG.
Stephens Lawyers Young Voices For Change Award
Someone at school has written a note about feeling sad and lonely. Who could it be? Two students appoint themselves detectives on the case to find out…
Anyone is a drama created by students from Craighead Diocesan School in South Canterbury; Pieta Prouting, Heidi Vogel, Emma Miron, Georgia Lowe and Libby Geary.
Are You Up For The Fight To End Sexual Assault?
Villainesse Young Women Film-makers Award
What is consent? In a world where confusion abounds, this edgy drama explores the issue and importance of personal responsibility.
Are You Up For The Fight To End Sexual Assault? was created by Emma Brown, 16, and Emma Coleman, 17, from Wellington. It has an M rating.
The Lowdown Award
Ari is a Māori boy cast adrift in a Pākehā world. When he wants to anchor, he turns to his imaginary friend Bob for advice.
Ari’s World was created by sister and brother duo Irava, 14, and Makea Upu, 12, from Papatoetoe, Auckland. It has a G rating.
Auckland Council Film-maker Award
What happens when you get so involved that the game is playing you?
This film, Gaming Addiction, was created by a team from Mission Heights Junior College in Auckland; Raiyan Khan, Andrew Ma and Farhaan Mohammed.Rated G.
New Zealand Film Commission Film-making Achievement Award
What can you do to reach a goal that seems unattainable? In this pacy doco-drama, a young explorer pushes himself to the limit to find the answer.
This film, GRIT, was created by Elim College student Geoff Chen, 16, from Auckland. It has a G rating.
Weta Digital Media Award
In this adorable claymation pic, Jimmy learns about the beauty and simplicity of permaculture.
Jimmy’s Garden was created by Sam and Sarah Ridsdale, 14 and 17, from Palmerston North. It has a G rating.
Keep the Faith
The Coconet.tv Pasifika Award
Celebration of cultural identity is key to well-being for the students of Alfriston College in South Auckland, most of whom identify as Māori or Pasifika.
Keep The Faith is an uplifting documentary about staying connected and was created by Terry Cheng, 16. It has a G rating.
Enviroschools Sustainable Future Award
How do we sustain our culture in another land? Through our language, our music, our arts and crafts.
This film, MI Culture, was created by Likisone Likisone, 12, and Jonathan Funaki, 13, students at Manurewa Intermediate School, South Auckland. It has a G rating.
Nature In Trouble
Red Carpet TV Secondary School Film-makers Award
Two habitats, separated by only 75km, yet one is thriving and the other is in trouble. This documentary questions how we can better nurture the bush in our cities.
Nature In Trouble was made by Martin and Jeremy Cole, 18, and Daniel Cocker, 17, students at Southland Boys’ High School, Invercargill. It has a G rating.
Rockstock Sustainable Lifestyle Award
A fun and quirky take on rethinking our daily coffee drinking habits.
This film, Single Use, was created by Mika Zollner, 22, and Zavier Warne, 23, from Victoria University, Wellington. It has a G rating.
Stuart the Penguin
Department of Conservation Big Picture Award
Stuart is a tawaki, a Fiordland crested penguin whose life is under threat from rodents. Then he gets a call from the Prime Minister with exciting news…
Stuart the Penguin was created by Timothy Wallace, 11, from Owairoa School in Auckland. It has G rating.
Sustainable People on Banks Peninsula
What Now Primary/Intermediate School Film-makers Award
Documentary-maker Marco Varray explores the ways that locals preserve the stunning beauty of Banks Peninsula.
Sustainable People on Banks Peninsula has a G rating.
Te Riri o Mataaho
Upstart Magazine Storytelling Award
A delightful re-telling of the Māori legend, Te Riri o Mataaho, about an Auckland volcano.This film, Te Riri o Mataaho, was created by a team from Long Bay Primary School, Auckland; Joshua Lynch, Scott Mesman, Dylan Caldwell and Olivia Manu. It has a G rating.
The Beach Restoration Day!
Ministry of Youth Development Community Participation Award
A documentary exploring how the simple action of planting a small tree can contribute to positive change in our environment.
The Beach Restoration Day! was created by a team from Waikouaiti Primary School in Dunedin; Neve Curtis, Anamika Jones and Addisyn Lawrence. Rated G.
Tearaway Secondary School Performance Award
A sobering reflection on the consequences of our disposable habits and the impact this may have for future generations.
Time Capsule was created by Jessica Arlund, 13, a student at Papamoa College in Tauranga. It has a G rating.