Best Overall Winner Tai Rippingale with his dad and film subject Darren. Photo Merrie Hewetson

The Tama Tu, Tama Ora short film festival finale hit the big screen at Artworks Theatre on Friday 8 November.

The competition, organised by the Piritahi Hau Ora, was designed to give Waiheke young people the opportunity to create a short film around the theme “what does a great male role model look like to you?”. 

Nga Purapura Akoranga from Te Huruhi School entered a short film based on the Māori legend How the Kiwi Lost Its Wings. The tamariki came away with several awards in various categories including: Best Teamwork Award, Whakatipuranga Award for best use of tikanga and or te reo Māori, and the Best Acting Award.

Lola Farquhar entered a documentary style film and took out the Best Animation Award and Best Cinematography Award. 

The Overall Best Film award went to nine-year-old Tai Rippingale who also took out the Best Directing Award for his touching short film My Dad. The entry centred around his father Darren, intertwining themes of family, ancestry, matauranga Māori, and the importance of belonging.

“I chose my dad because he has taught me a lot of things in my life,” says Tai, “I didn’t really ask him, I surprised him and he was really happy.”

Tai said he was surprised to win and the $1000 prize money? 

“I’m going to buy an iPad to make more films,” says Tai.

Organiser Paul Tuvae of Piritahi Hau Ora says there was more engagement in the previous three years of the festival, however, there was a lot of support from the community and sponsors.

“We go year by year and we usually come across a trending issue through social service and we usually base the year’s competition on the trend. We’re hoping to run next year but it might be in a different format – we might try something new.” • Jessie Dean

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