International film festival launching in April

The International Youth Silent Film Festival is being celebrated in April with workshops and celebrations taking place in Tauranga.

The Baycourt Community & Arts Centre and Bay of Plenty Film are delivering the International Youth Silent Film Festival New Zealand Nationals launching in April.

The International Youth Silent Film Festival (IYSFF) is a global competition challenging young filmmakers, aged 20 and under (as of April 15, 2019), to create a three-minute silent film set one to of 10 musical scores composed especially for the festival.

The competition made its New Zealand debut back in 2016 and Baycourt manager James Wilson says year on year the IYSFF NZ Nationals have grown from strength to strength.

“The IYSFF NZ team were left dumbfounded by the high quality and craftsmanship of the entries in 2018, and we cannot wait to see what our young Kiwi filmmakers have to offer in 2019.

“For me, I absolutely love the idea that as we speak the next Taika Waititi, Jane Campion, Peter Jackson, or Niki Caro is out there somewhere in Aotearoa planning or shooting their film to enter into this year’s competition.”

Bay of Plenty Film Office CEO Anton Steel believes the International Youth Silent Film Festival is a great platform for New Zealand’s young filmmakers.

“We are really proud that one of our films came 2nd last year at the World Finals in Oregon and we hope to go one better in 2019.”

This year, two events will officially launch the IYSFF NZ Nationals 2019, the Young Filmmakers Workshops and the Red-Carpet Gala Celebration that will both take place at Baycourt in April.

The Young Filmmakers Workshops delivered by Bay of Plenty film and The Breeze Tauranga is open to all young filmmakers aged 20 and under, guiding participants from the beginning of the film making process right through to the end.

“Over the course of the three-days you will collaborate with other participants through a job sharing process and together you will create a silent film!” Says James.   

“The silent film they create during the workshops will also be screened at the IYSFF NZ Red-Carpet Gala Celebration at Baycourt on the night of April 17.”

Leading the workshops is Bay of Plenty Film CEO Anton Steel who has worked as a Director, first Assistant Director and Producer for more than 20 years.

Each day will focus on a different skill involved in filmmaking, such as writing and preparation, shooting a film, and editing, with each day to be led by an industry professional with extensive filmmaking experience.

This year’s tutors include Visual Effects Guru (ex Weta) Leon Thomas who has joined Andrew Taylor, Jannine Bishop, and Sandi Cutts who will teach participants about their their specialist fields: direction, camera operating, art direction, acting, editing, visual effects and make-up/special effects.

“The expertise, creativeness and enthusiasm of all our tutors is truly amazing. We feel extremely lucky to have Anton, Andrew, Leon, Jannine and Sandi involved in the workshops and share their knowledge and passion to the next generation of Kiwi filmmakers.”

Following the workshops, Baycourt is hosting the IYSFF NZ Red Carpet Gala celebration on Wednesday, April 17 at the Addison Theatre at 7.30pm.

James says the purpose of this gala celebration is to make a “song and dance” about the IYSFF NZ National completion.

“Despite the fact the IYSFF has been staged in New Zealand since 2016, we have never held an event like the Red-Carpet Gala Celebration to officially launch the competition.

“Given the growth and the ever-increasing popularity of the competition, it really feels like the perfect time to celebrate the IYSFF, our young filmmakers, the sponsors, and everyone who plays a part in making the NZ Nationals a fantastic competition.”

The IYSFF NZ Red-Carpet Gala Celebration will feature a programme packed with the best films from previous years’ competitions created by young New Zealand filmmakers, alongside entries from the other international heats of the global competition.

The event will also be an opportunity for public to meet filmmakers involved in this year’s festival and spot the stars of tomorrow.

“This promises to be a great night of storytelling, action and drama. Each film is just three minutes long, making for the perfect bite-sized, big-screen experience.”


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