Wednesday, 25 November 2020


Te Rerenga students’ documentary shown at the International Antarctic Centre

Three budding young Coromandel filmmakers have just enjoyed a free trip to Christchurch to see the premiere of their very own movie on the big screen at the International Antarctic Centre.

Year 3 students - Ophelia Morley-Muir, Stella James and Ella Adlam - formed one of the four teams from Te Rerenga school who entered the centre’s Days of Ice: Antarctica Through Fresh Eyes film competition. Year 1 to 13 students across Aotearoa were challenged to present a creative, cutting-edge perspective of Antarctica and why it is special to them. The Te Rerenga students were able to call on some pretty useful expert help in the form of Ophelia’s dad, James Muir, a well-known film and documentary maker who has himself visited Antarctica.

“James was so generous with his time,” says Te Rerenga School principal, Mary Kedzlie. “He came and ran a number of workshops with all the students, sharing not only his knowledge and experience of Antarctica, but also his film making skills. The students got so much out of it and it’s something that we plan to continue as part of our digital technology curriculum. The judges actually commented on the high standard of all the entries we sent and, of course, there was great excitement when we heard the girls had won.”

As part of their prize the students were flown to Christchurch and put up overnight in a hotel. They also received a prize pack and had the opportunity to watch the first screening of their movie, “Forest and Ice,” at the International Antarctic Centre where it will run for a year. Their theme focused strongly on the wildlife of the Antarctic and how various species have adapted to this unique environment. Featuring film footage, artwork and researched data linked together with a voiceover by Ophelia, the three-minute long documentary captured the overall primary award for Years 1 to 4.

“We learned a lot about the animals in Antarctica when making the movie, even the ones that lived there millions of years ago, dinosaurs like the cryolophosaurus,” says Stella. “I really liked our film and I thought we had a good chance of winning, but it was still really exciting,” Ophelia adds.

There’s excitement when the three young filmmakers recounted their time at the International Antarctic Centre. “We got to see a husky and some blue penguins, and you get to go into a freezing area that lets you feel what it is like in the Antarctic,” Ella says. “It was so cold and slippery.”

The girls say learning more about the Antarctic’s wildlife has helped them understand why it is important that the continent is protected and they are proud that their work will help share that message with the thousands of visitors who come to the centre. In acknowledgement of their efforts, they have also been named ambassadors for the International Antarctic Centre for the next 12 months.

Pictured: Te Rerenga school’s Stella James, Ella Adlam and Ophelia Morley-Muir who won the Years 1 to 4 category in the International Antarctic Centre’s short film contest.


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