Young film­maker rais­ing aware­ness

Manukau Courier - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - EMILY FORD

You wouldn’t eat a bread packet, so why feed it to the world? That’s the mes­sage be­hind a young film­maker’s award-win­ning film.

Warn­ing is the de­but short film from South Auck­lan­der Nei­hana Lowe, which fol­lows a day in the life of plas­tic-eat­ing teenager.

Made in his fi­nal year of high school in 2016, the satiric five-minute film is Lowe’s way of urg­ing peo­ple to think more about sus­tain­able pack­ag­ing and car­ing for en­vi­ron­ment.

‘‘For me it’s a tool to get the mes­sage out there,’’ Lowe says. ‘‘I want to cre­ate more aware­ness. These things need to be talked about.’’

Pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment is some­thing he’s al­ways been pas­sion­ate about, and since fin­ish­ing high school he’s been work­ing away at other short films with eco mes­sages.

‘‘I have my mum to thank for my love of the en­vi­ron­ment, she’s a very earthly woman,’’ he says.

‘‘I grew up learn­ing to take care of the en­vi­ron­ment and for me I’m spread­ing aware­ness through film­mak­ing.’’

Warn­ing is about a high school stu­dent who, in­stead of eat­ing food, con­sumes their wrap­pers to highlight the food waste peo­ple cre­ate.

The film won the sto­ry­telling cat­e­gory of sus­tain­able film­mak­ing event The Out­look for Some­day as well as the Ran­gatahi film­maker of the year at 2017 Ma¯ori­land Film Fes- tival.

It’s now been se­lected to screen at a New York high school film fes­ti­val in the United States.

It’s not a bad feat for some­one whose first foray into film­mak­ing was a high school as­sign­ment to make a mu­sic video - which he says he cringes at now.

He has his class­mates and teach­ers at Rose­hill Col­lege to thank for help­ing him get the film off the ground, and they’re all equally as proud of his achieve­ments. Prin­ci­pal Sue Blakely says Lowe is a great ex­am­ple for other stu­dents to as­pire to.

‘‘I think it’s fan­tas­tic his pas­sion can be ex­pressed through this medium which is en­gag­ing peo­ple,’’ Blakely says.

Stu­dent Erin Wheeler stars as Mindy in the film and she says it has made her think more about what she’s con­sum­ing.

‘‘It was a bit of a laugh at the time, we didn’t know what the out­come would be like. It’s so cool that it’s got a deeper mean­ing,’’ Erin says.

Lowe is rais­ing money to get to the All Amer­i­can High School Film Fes­ti­val in New York in Oc­to­ber where his film is be­ing screened. Go to givealit­tle.co.nz/cause/ warn­ingtonyc

‘‘I grew up learn­ing to take care of the en­vi­ron­ment.’’

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