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12 year old New Zealander wins award and sets record at Japanese film festival


25 August 2015

Twelve year old Tomairangi Harvey is celebrating in Tokyo after winning an award last night at the Japan Wildlife Film Festival.

Her short film Te Ao o te Tuturuatu received the Best Young Film-maker Award.

The film is a five minute animated story of the endangered Tuturuatu (Shore Plover) and its habitat and survival in New Zealand.

Tomairangi is the youngest film-maker ever to have a film selected in the 25 year history of the festival, which is the most prestigious of its kind in the Asia Pacific region. This year it selected 48 films to screen in competition out of 1853 entries from 112 countries.

As well writing, directing and animating her film entirely by herself when she was eleven Tomairangi narrated it in te reo Maori.

“The sympathy, deep feeling and love that 11 year old Maori girl Tomairangi Harvey feels for the shore dotterel overflows from her animated film and was clearly conveyed to us,” said the festival judges.

“With thousands of years of protecting and living with nature behind them, the Maori people truly have traditions and a history to be proud of.”

Please keep sending your wonderful messages to the world.”

Te Ao o te Tuturuatu was made for New Zealand’s sustainability film challenge for young people, The Outlook for Someday. It won the Te Puni Kokiri Whakatipuranga Award in 2014 for a film with a Maori indigenous perspective on sustainability.

Tomairangi Harvey is Moriori, Ngati Mutunga, Tuhoe and Ngai Tahu. She lives in New Brighton in Christchurch.

“I like the idea of showing people through film, the world, the truth,” said Tomairangi. “Te reo Maori is a way for me to show people through my own eyes.”

“Being nominated for the festival didn’t seem real. Then winning an award was scary and exciting. It was scary being in a strange place and having to get up in front of everyone but exciting to get lots of people saying how much they liked what I did.”

Tomairangi travelled to Japan for the festival with her mother and David Jacobs, who is director of The Outlook for Someday.

Tomairangi’s film is a beautiful expression of Aotearoa New Zealand,” said David Jacobs. “It is a film with great soul. It speaks authentically of our people and our land and in the language that we are working to regrow.”

Watch Te Ao o te Tuturuatu:

About The Outlook for Someday:

Now in its 9th year, The Outlook for Someday is New Zealand’s sustainability film project for young people. Through an annual film challenge and a national series of sustainability film-making workshops the project helps grow a generation of sustainability storytellers.

Each year there are 20 winning short films in the film challenge, which asks anyone up to the age of 24 to make a short sustainability-related film of any genre, filmed with any camera and any length up to 5 minutes.

The entry deadline in 2015 is 11 September.

At The Someday Awards red-carpet ceremony in December each winning film-maker receives a commitment that their film will be entered into at least one international film festival the following year.


Tomairangi Harvey at the Japan Wildlife Film Festival (video and stills):

Stills from Te Ao o te Tuturuatu:

Tomairangi Harvey, Christine Harvey and David Jacobs travelled to the Japan Wildlife Film Festival with support from The Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust, Department of Conservation, Te Keke Tura Moriori Identity Trust, Spark Foundation, First Sovereign Trust, Air New Zealand and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.


The Outlook for Someday in 2015 is based on partnerships between Connected Media Charitable Trust and The Body Shop New Zealand, the New Zealand Film CommissionMinistry of Youth DevelopmentDepartment of ConservationHealth Promotion Agency and Auckland Council.

Funding Partners are Te Māngai PāhoCreative New Zealand's Creative Communities SchemeThe Trusts Community Foundation, the Lou and Iris Fisher Charitable Trust, First Sovereign Trust, Youthtown, Infinity Foundation and Dragon Community Trust.

Regional Partners are Foundation NorthBay TrustTrust WaikatoEastern and Central Community Trust, Whanganui Community FoundationCanterbury Community Trust, Community Trust of Mid and South Canterbury, Central Lakes Trust and Otago Community Trust.

Media Partners are Element Magazine, The WirelessThe 4.30 ShowWhat NowTearawayUpstart, Coconut Wireless, Web Show Central,, and Green Ideas Magazine.

Paper and Print Partners are Rockstock, B&F Papers and Soar Print.

Event Partners are Auckland Live and All Good.

Supporting Partners are Toimata Foundation and Accelerating Aotearoa.

O’Halloran North Shore is Accountancy Partner and Stephens Lawyers is Honorary Legal Advisor.