Stu­dents bring cin­ema to stage

Manukau Courier - - HEALTH & BEAUTY - EMILY FORD

Act­ing in a show is well out­side Ed­die Ta­mati’s com­fort zone. The 14-year-old has al­ways been a keen dancer, but never gave se­ri­ous thought to be­ing an ac­tor. Yet, he’s about to make his de­but as the lead in his school’s mul­ti­me­dia pro­duc­tion, Grow­ing Up From Down.

Ed­die is the youngest mem­ber of Aorere Col­lege’s Film Acad­emy, a group of budding film­mak­ers in their fi­nal years of high school. When it came to cast­ing per­form­ers for their an­nual show, be­ing staged at Man­gere Arts Cen­tre on Septem­ber 28, it was Ed­die’s audition that blew them away.

‘‘This is a big leap from what I’m usu­ally com­fort­able with do­ing. I’m not re­ally into act­ing or per­form­ing but it’s grow­ing on me,’’ Ed­die says.

While he’s ner­vous about per­form­ing for an au­di­ence for the first time, he’s de­vel­oped a pas­sion for it and can see him­self mov­ing into di­rect­ing in the fu­ture.

Grow­ing Up From Down is a live film, theatre, dance, and mu­sic pro­duc­tion, com­bin­ing the dif­fer­ent medi­ums to tell sto­ries. Three short films, di­rected, filmed, and edited by Film Acad­emy stu­dents, will fea­ture in the show, as well as per­for­mances from mu­si­cians, dancers, and ac­tors.

From 100 stu­dents on day one at the be­gin­ning of the year, to a group of key film­mak­ers in the lead up to the show, the pro­duc­tion re­quires a lot of af­ter school re­hearsals and long nights of edit­ing.

A love of film is what drove Jesse Naera, 17, to go for the Film Acad­emy, where he’s joined by fel­low di­rec­tors Ma­ri­etta Apulu, 17, and Nirvika Nair, 16.

Jesse lost his other team mem­bers in the process, but his friends in the acad­emy pulled to­gether to help him fin­ish his film.

‘‘I didn’t want to be seen as some­one who just gives up when things get hard,’’ Jesse says.

‘‘Ever since I was lit­tle, I’ve al­ways wanted to make films, I al­ready have so many sto­ries in my head and I can’t wait to put them on film.’’

Es­tab­lished in 2013, the Film Acad­emy gives stu­dents an op­por­tu­nity to work with pro­fes­sional film and edit­ing gear. Run by for­mer stu­dent, Muzaf­far Ali, he says it’s giv­ing them skills they can take into po­ten­tial film careers when they leave school.

‘‘It’s im­por­tant for these stu­dents, at their age, to see a goal and try to reach it,’’ Ali says.

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