By: Anne-Marie McDonald

Friends was made by Whanganui High School’s head boy Jack Southee and deputy head boy Nusr Ghamri, along with the school’s student council.

The students made the film as part of Bullying-Free Week, at the end of May, and won first prize in the New Zealand Bullying-Free Week senior short film competition.

In their notes on the film, the judging panel said they had been “inundated with entries – the standard was very high”.

But the judges said the Whanganui High School film was “refreshing”.

“[It] was an outstanding short film with a clear, positive and uplifting message … [it] was led by student voices, and produced to a high professional standard.”

Jack said the film came about when the school’s student council was brainstorming ideas for Bullying-Free week.

“We want to spread a positive message. We wanted to focus on how students should behave, rather than how they shouldn’t.”

So the filmmakers picked out fellow students at random, sat them in front of a camera and asked them three questions: What do you like about school? What makes a good friend? What makes a bad friend?

“We know the goal of school is academic achievement, but social interaction is a big appeal for students,” Nusr said.

“We were hoping to get people to think about their own behaviour, and how they’d like to act as a friend.”

The film was shown at school assemblies during Bullying-Free Week, and then Jack and Nusr decided to send it to the short film competition.

Their prize is $500 for the school.

Jack and Nasr have both been keen filmmakers since they were in Year 9. Their first film was a horror film, but recently they’ve turned their attention to making more serious films. This is the second film competition they’ve entered.

“I believe film is a powerful medium to get a serious message across,” Jack said.

Friends – Whanganui College


Check out the website here.

Source: Wanganui Chronicle


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