Grey Lynn film-maker wins top award

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - HUGH COLLINS

Yamin Tun’s ex­pe­ri­ences as a child mi­grant have been re­flected in an award-win­ning short film.

Wait, di­rected and writ­ten by Tun, took out the Jury Prize for the Best New Zealand Short Film at the 2016 New Zealand In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val, earn­ing her $5000 cash.

It also took the Wallace Friends of the Civic Award which is ac­com­pa­nied by $3000.

Wait the first Man­darin lan­guage film that has been se­lected for the award.

Writ­ten while Tun was do­ing post­grad­u­ate film study at Unitec, it fol­lows a mother-daughter re­la­tion­ship of fresh Chi­nese im­mi­grants to New Zealand in the 1980s.

This nar­ra­tive was in­spired by Tun’s ex­pe­ri­ence as a child where her fam­ily mi­grated from her birth­place of Burma to the United King­dom.

The film touches on feel­ings her mother had of set­tling in a for­eign land - some­thing lead ac­tor Kat­lyn Wong could also re­late to.

‘‘We both had this in­nate un­der­stand­ing of what our moth­ers went through,’’ Tun says.

With lit­tle di­a­logue the film de­picts the iso­la­tion the mother un­der­goes.

‘‘I hope that it’s a fairly univer­sal ex­pe­ri­ence that peo­ple will recog­nise,’’ the Grey Lynn res­i­dent says.

De­spite only be­ing 12 min­utes in length, Tun says the lim­i­ta­tions of pro­duc­ing a short film presents its own chal­lenges.

With Wait tak­ing a year-anda-half to cast, pro­duc­ing a short can al­most take as long a fea­ture length, Tun says.

‘‘You still have to cast and you still have to find lo­ca­tions and you still have to have all the same con­ver­sa­tions with crew…. un­like a fea­ture it’s not paid and it’s ac­tu­ally harder to find crew.’’

But the for­mat of short films en­ables you to be more ‘‘ ex­per­i­men­tal’’.

‘‘I’ve tried to shoot it in a way that tested some ideas out that are a lit­tle bit non-stan­dard and some­times it’s a lot eas­ier to do that in a short, whereas in a fea­ture some­times it’s not as en­cour­aged be­cause the risks are a lot higher.’’

Tun is now em­bark­ing on two fea­ture film projects, both which have film com­mis­sion fund­ing.

Il­lus­tri­ous New Zealand film­maker Lee Tama­hori de­scribes Wait as a ‘‘tense and ab­sorb­ing nar­ra­tive with an in­ten­tion­ally enig­matic fi­nale’’.

Yamin Tun won the Jury Prize for Best Short Film at the 2016 NZ In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val.

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