Film competition to entice budding film-makersA film competition has officially kicked-off and is looking to attract local film-makers, both amateur and professional, with a flair for telling unique Waitaki stories. The ‘Unique Stories’ film competition will officially launch community fundraising for the Cultural Facility Development Project that will see the Forrester Gallery, North Otago Museum and Waitaki District Archive merge and move to an expanded Forrester Gallery site in 2019.   Council recently agreed that the project should proceed after external funding was secured with more likely to be granted in 2018.  Mayor Gary Kircher says the project can now step up a gear and the film competition is the official launch of the next phase of the project. “It is a natural fit with the project that a film competition will capture Waitaki’s taonga and special stories in unique ways through film-making and we are excited by what people will produce,” says Mayor Kircher. “The film competition is a great way for film-makers, both amateur and professional, who have a passion for the Waitaki district to tell a great story about the district.” “The challenge is to capture a tale showcasing our regional spirit in under three minutes of innovative film-making.” The finalists’ entries will be shown, and category* winners announced, at an awards evening at the Oamaru Opera House on Friday 8 September.   The finalists will be chosen and announced by acclaimed Emmy® Award winner and Natural History NZ film producer Ian McGee.  Ian cut his teeth with David Bellamy’s Moa’s Ark 25 years ago and has gone on to win many awards for his work including an Emmy® Award for the Twisted Tales series he wrote and produced for Animal Planet.   The film competition is being organised by Tourism Waitaki Event Co-ordinator Lucianne White. “With a range of exciting prizes up for grabs along with Ian McGee as our judge, we hope to see a lot of our people take up this challenge to tell one of our stories”, says Mrs White. Further details about the competition or the awards night can be directed to*Categories1. Schools; any size group, students must be involved in all stages of film-making but may have adult assistance. 2. 12 – 18 year olds; maximum four people per production team (not including actors) 3. Open – amateur; maximum four people per production team (not including actors) 4. Open – professional; if you have engaged in any paid film production work you will be deemed to fall into this category. Maximum four people per production team (not including actors)

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