Hunger Games answer to film challenge

Kids seize upon chance to show technology skills

TALIA SHADWELL
Last updated 12:00 08/11/2012
Hunger games
ROB KITCHIN/Fairfax NZ

COMPETITION AND CREATIVITY: Whakarongo School pupils, from left, Elliot Wood, Joshua Durant, and Max Zander.

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Manawatu schoolchildren have seized upon a challenge to show what they can produce with technology at their fingertips.

The second annual Inspire Net Manawatu Digi Awards results are set to be announced on Monday, and entries show the popular Hunger Games books trilogy and hit film have gripped the imaginations of the region's schoolchildren.

A raft of entries into regional multimedia awards include playful interpretations of its dark themes, in which children of a futuristic dystopia are pitted against one another in a gladiator-style "game" as punishment for a previous generation's rebellion.

The Digi Awards challenge primary schoolchildren from years 1 to 8 to try their hand at film-making, music video direction, digital photography and animation.

Among the finalists this year are Whakarongo year 6 pupils Elliot Wood, Joshua Durant, and Max Zander, all 11 years old, who shot and produced their own short action film entitled The Whakarongo Games. All three boys played a part in the choreography of the fight scenes, which they said were the most fun, but difficult to film.

"It's actually really hard to make it look real, like this part when he hit me in the head, he actually did hit me," Max said.

"We tried to make sure nobody actually got hurt in the making of the film," Elliot said.

In its second year running, the number of entries for the Digi Awards has almost doubled.

This year 891 entries from 38 schools were received, Whakarongo School principal Jaco Broodryk said.

Three supreme awards are up for grabs for each age group, and two children will take home trophies for best actor and best actress.

Unlike the Hunger Games, the Digi Awards were less about competition than creativity, Mr Broodryk said.

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- Manawatu Standard

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