Published on 01 March 2019

Top honour for young filmmakers

While they missed out on an Oscar, this group of talented Onkaparinga youth still took home some filmmaking silverware in February.

The group – consisting of eight young local residents aged 14-22 – won the Best Documentary award at the Fleurieu Film Festival on 9 February for their film, ‘Climate Change and the Community – A Documentary’.

The film offers compelling insights into how Onkaparinga residents, businesses and organisations are adapting to climate change, and it features in-depth interviews, narration, council climate change data and sweeping scenes of the vales and coast.

Onkaparinga Youth Centre Coordinator Craig Cooper says the film was a collaborative effort.

Studio 20 [Aldinga-based Onkaparinga Youth Centre] conducted a Term 3 and Term 4 filmmaking after-school program last year that equipped young people to film during the October holidays,” says Craig.

“We had support from Aldinga Community Centre and Willunga Environment Centre’s Youth And Community in Conservation Action (YACCA) group, and we engaged Frank Films, led by Laura Franklin, who helped facilitate the multimedia skills and assist with the delivery of the project.”

Studio 20 staff arranged the interviews with various residents, groups and organisations – which included council, White Feather Red Winery and Maslin Beach eco-artist Evelyn Roth – and worked with the youngsters to plan and develop the film.

“It was incredible,” Craig says.

“I’m so happy they got to experience the full circle of coming up with an idea, preparation, content ideas, learning filmmaking skills from Laura and then the filming… it was so much fun.

“A particular highlight was on final day of shooting, when we lined up our young film crew to interview the youth from Willunga Environment Centre. Young people talking to young people about such an important social topic.

“And then for them to go to the festival as a finalist on a mission to empower youth to care for people and place, and then be recognised with an award – how epic is that?”

One of the young filmmakers, David King, says he thoroughly enjoyed the process.

“It was a lot of fun to work with these guys and to make a film about something that’s so important and a real problem,” he says.

Another team member, Nic Grant, says he learnt a lot about the technical aspects of filmmaking such as camera angles, and he was able to overcome a stutter to star as the film’s narrator.

“To be recognised with an award was an amazing accomplishment,” adds Jordan Ellis, another from the award-winning group.

The theme for this year’s Fleurieu Film Festival was Climate Change – Hot Topic/Kool Films, and the City of Onkaparinga and Resilient South partnered with the Festival to offer filmmakers access to council’s climate change data, such as 3D computer modelling of our coastline.

Council uses this data to monitor coastal erosion and sea level rise, but filmmakers were free to use the data as they wished, representing a unique collaboration of art and science.

While the win is a great feather in the cap for the Studio 20 team, Craig says the wheels are already in motion for 2019’s film projects.

“We’re very excited to have engaged a new group of young people passionate about the environment and filmmaking, so we’re looking forward to rolling out more arts, media and film, and sending an eco-message to the world in 2019,” he says.

If you’re aged 8-25 years and would like to get involved with Studio 20’s range of youth programs and activities, visit their website for more information and contact details.

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Jordan Ellis, Nic Grant and David King with their award outside the Aldinga Recreation Centre.