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National Onscreen awards for Avcol filmmakers

An ironic mockumentary raising questions about the role of influencers in the wellness and beauty industry has seen Year 13 Avcol students Jakob Elijas and Leo Taylor win two national secondary schools filmmaking awards - worth $1000!

The Year 13 Media Studies students' short film Iris by Iris won the Best Documentary category in the Onscreen national short filmmaking challenge, as well as the award for Best Cinematography at the National Final Screening event held at the Academy Cinema this week.

Over 1100 emerging filmmakers from schools throughout New Zealand participated in the competition this year, producing 132 short films that were narrowed down to fourteen finalists. The national finalists all gathered in Auckland on Tuesday 14 November, where they visited Weta Workshop's 'Unleashed' exhibition, and had a behind-the-scenes tour of the SAE creative media institute in Parnell before the National Final Screening and awards event at the Academy Cinema.

"It was really great to meet the other people from schools across the country - and being able to see our film in a real cinema on the big screen," says Jakob.

Featuring a cast of family, friends and Avcol staff, Iris by Iris was initially created as an assignment in Ms Ackerman's Level 3 Media Studies class.

From the get-go, Jakob and Leo were set on making a film that went beyond the class genre says Ms Ackerman.

"This meant diving into extra research and prep work on their own," she says.

"Despite the added challenges, they poured in effort, made fast decisions and burnt the midnight oil for those last-minute tweaks. All the hard work culminated in an awesome mockumentary with killer cinematography."

"The laughter and applause from the crowd on finals night spoke volumes about its true hilarity. Jakob and Leo should be beaming with pride for what they pulled off and I'm so proud!"

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