Two separate workshops have been run both in Rarotonga and Aitutaki once again by Motone Productions for the second year running.
The “Through the Lens” workshop is run over two days at the Cook Islands Tertiary Institute with participants working together to create short-films, either as an actor, a director, a camera operator or a sound producer.
The programme is run by the Maoriland Film Festival and director Libby Hakaraia said this generation of artists are known as being “digitally native”.
“These kids are around technology now right from birth and when you combine that with the amount of movies they are absorbing, these workshops hope to show them the potential future pathways that are available.”
The programme specifically is to help indigenous youth across the Pacific, with Hakaraia saying the students learn the tools to help tell their stories that are unique to their countries.
“We have gone into Samoa, Tahiti, Hawaii, here in the Cook Islands as well as back home in New Zealand and it is all about helping them to tell their stories, which I don’t think the world has wholly absorbed and people are searching for those authentic stories.
“We find that particularly kids here in the Cook Islands understand that the world comes to them for this experience and they are really good at putting that into their stories.”
Motone director Mo Newport said it was pleasing in the programme’s second year, to see a number of students return to continue to learn.
“There are clearly some kids here that really tune in to film-making and are wanting to continue to develop and learn their skills.
“The two days we spent in Aitutaki was hugely successful and we were very well supported by Araura principal Tracy Spiers during our time on the island. The kids came up with some really wonderful films, both of which were bi-lingual, so had both Cook Islands Maori and English in them.”
Hakaraia said after meeting former president of the United States of America Barack Obama when he briefly travelled to New Zealand earlier this year, that he expressed his support to help grow the programme.
“Obama with his personal experiences living in Hawaii, showed real interest in wanting to help us in the future to grow our efforts and help put us in touch with organisations and individuals who can also assist us.”
The films from both workshops as well as what was produced last year were showcased to the public on Friday night at Club Raro.
Motone organisers wish to thank their sponsors, Air Rarotonga, Island Car and Bike Hire, Club Raro and Tamanu Beach Resort in Aitutaki for their support.