Study award brings `westie’ home again
Gemma Duncan, pictured, admits she didn’t know much about Unitec other than playing a zombie for a film production, wandering the halls of the old Carrington Hospital, now part of Unitec’s Mt Albert campus.
But that is about to change thanks to be- ing the lucky recipient of Unitec’s study award offered to participants of the recent 48HOURS Furious Filmmaking 2009 competition.
48HOURS participants were given an opportunity to study further in the area of screen arts at Unitec.
The award covers Duncan’s tuition fees for next year where she is planning to complete the Graduate Diploma in Creative Practice programme.
“I was actually sick with a cold when I got the phone call to say I had won so it took me about five minutes to realise it,” laughs the 24-year-old. “I think it was all the medication I was on.”
Duncan says she was pleasantly surprised when she realised what great performing and screen arts programmes Unitec had.
Currently living in Wellington, the award allows Duncan to return to west Auckland, much to her family’s delight. Duncan has just completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Massey University.
The proud “westie” says the study award couldn’t have come at a better time as she was contemplating either finding work or doing further study.
“My family has been very supportive of me for so many years so they’re stoked I’ll be moving back home.
“This award is great because the decision has been made for me and I don’t have to worry about what I’ll be doing next year.”
Duncan has already directed a handful of documentaries and hopes to carve a successful career on the big screen.
Her documentary interest is confronting stereotypes people have and how they don’t fit with the reality.
“Film has always been my main interest particularly around New Zealand’s cultural stereotypes. It’s something that’s come from my father and his weapons collection.
“He’s got a real passion for them so when tell this to people, they find it strange and have a false image of what my father is like.”
Duncan was one of hundreds of people who participated in the recent 48HOURS Film Festival where participants had to write, film and edit a short movie within the allocated time.