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SMC and Christ’s College win top international film award

Date: 27th October 2017

St Margaret’s College and Christ’s College took out the Best Senior Secondary Fiction film at the recent 2017 Atom Awards in Melbourne, and were the only New Zealand winners at the awards. Two years ago, they were runners up for another collaboration.

A Perfect Child is a story about Ava (Tigerlily Perry), a girl who has lost her parents in a car crash and who has been sent to an orphanage. She meets Madam Murphy (Eilish Moran, Court Theatre) who runs the establishment in a disciplined and firm manner. Ava soon befriends Lauren (Alice Taylor), but finds out that things are not what they seem at the orphanage. When Lauren suddenly turns on her, Ava discovers a laboratory full of clones who the orphanage is trying to make into perfect specimens so that they will be adopted more easily.

Written by Year 13 students Nina Hogg and Simon Brown, the film took a year to produce from start to finish, involving 65 students, mentors and teachers.

Simon says the film only took five days to shoot but the main challenges came from the editing – and the awards.

“The prize giving was very nerve wracking, especially since when Nina and I had to go up on stage to collect the award. We didn’t realise that we were required to give a short speech and had to improvise but it was taken very well, which was a relief.”

Now in their 35th year, the ATOM Awards celebrate the best of Australian and New Zealand screen content from the education sector and screen industry professionals. They are the second longest running film and media awards in Australia.

“It’s an absolute honour to receive this award, especially as the only winning New Zealand team in the competition. So many students put their life and soul into this film and I hope our two schools continue this collaboration as a way to foster interest in the film industry and highlight the talent of our friends and fellow students,” Nina says.

Creating the film was an amazing experience, according to Trudy Keys, Head of Faculty, Technology at St Margaret’s.

“The collaboration between the two schools provided a unique learning experience with a variety of industry mentors that allowed so many students over a range of ages to be involved.”

Peter Hewson, head of media at Christ’s College says it was fascinating to see how much students learn about creating film.

“I watched them grow and develop their skills enormously.”

Watch the winning movie here.

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