Film tells social sustainability story video

HUNTER WILLIAMS/YouTube

Quinn Hautapu was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 7. In the last two years she has undergone close to 1000 procedures. Through her ambassadorship with The Child Cancer Foundation NZ, she is impacting the lives of thousands of people.

Taking something negative and showing the positive side is a big part of Hunter Williams' work.

The 15-year-old made his first short film when he was 8 and he's been producing them ever since.

In his award-winning film Quinn's Quest the St Heliers' teen captures the story of Roanne Hautapu and her daughter Quinn Huatapu, 9, who was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer last year.

TOUGH JOURNEY: Quinn Hautapu stars in a short film about her life as a child cancer survivor called Quinn’s Quest.

TOUGH JOURNEY: Quinn Hautapu stars in a short film about her life as a child cancer survivor called Quinn’s Quest.

Quinn is now in remission and an ambassador for the Child Cancer Foundation.

On Thursday night the documentary won the O'Halloran North Shore Media Empowerment Award in the Outlook For Someday sustainability film challenge.

The competition is open to film makers aged 7 to 24.

BORN STORYTELLER: Hunter Williams, 15, has been making short films since he was eight.
Karina Abadia

BORN STORYTELLER: Hunter Williams, 15, has been making short films since he was eight.

Submitting a film about cancer survival in a sustainability film competition was about encouraging people to think differently, Hunter said.

"I wanted to show in my entry that sustainability is about so much more than [the environment].

"That's why I decided to target social sustainability and tell Quinn's story about how she's helping and inspiring so many people."

The film also won the Most Inspiring Story Award and the People's Choice Award on Saturday night, in the Inspiring Stories Film Competition.

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It was a challenging project to work on because of the sensitivity of the subject matter, the St Kentigern College year 10 student said.

"The mental pressure I put on myself was what motivated me to work as hard as I could to create this film."

Hunter became interested in Quinn after seeing boy band Moorhouse dedicate a song to her on The X Factor New Zealand last year.

A few months later he came across the Quinn's Quest Facebook page and got in touch.

It was nerve-racking pitching his documentary idea but now his family and the Hautapus have become good friends, he said.

Roanne Hautapu said she was "blown away" by the film.

"He was only 14 when he made it and I thought it was amazing.

"In just a few minutes he really captured the essence of the story."

She initially started a Facebook page about Quinn to keep family and friends up-to-date with her treatment but it quickly became more than that.

"As more and more people started liking it we saw that you really can make a difference by sharing your story.

"When you get messages from people who say they've gone street collecting for the Child Cancer Foundation you think 'wow, that's really awesome'."

 - East And Bays Courier

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