Youngest ever NZ International Film Festival director

A 17-year-old has been selected for this year’s prestigious New Zealand International Film Festival.

Qianna Titore from Northland is believed to be the youngest filmmaker ever selected for the international film festival.

Her short film NATALIE was made in the Hokianga by young people from the Far North region as part of a filmmaking workshop run by Script to Screen.

Titore spoke to Kawe Kōrero Reporters. She says, “NATALIE is about a 12-year-old girl who loves to sing and she lives in the Hokianga. Both her and her mother love to sing and they share a lullaby that her deceased koro wrote.”

When asked what her personal connection was with the storyline, Titore says, “For me it was an image I had in my head about a mother who was in a hospital bed and her daughter standing right beside her. I believe the connection for that is with my mother who has been pretty ill lately and I think it’s that fear of losing her.”

Under the guidance of talented screenwriting mentor, Michael Bennett, participants shared their stories, received feedback and ultimately selected 16-year-old Qianna Titore’s film NATALIE to develop into a fully realised short film.

Titore says, “I was lucky that they chose me to produce my film NATALIE. The community who helped as cast and crew, I’d just like to thank them.”

NATALIE will screen alongside a collection of Māori and Pacific short films at ASB Waterfront Theatre in Auckland on July 22 and Soundings Theatre in Wellington’s Te Papa Museum on August 13.