Teenage filmmaker savours success
Waiheke 14-year-old Lea Fini is totally focussed on a future as a filmmaker.
Her short film, Hope Resurfacing, made the finals of this year's international youth film competition, A Sense of...
With a theme of hope striking someone who is suicidal, the film was picked out for the finals for best film, best cast for Waiheke teenagers Isabella Healy and Aztaria Valois, best actress for Healy, and best look.
"The film is about someone almost tipping over the edge, but then getting that flicker of hope that could progress into a flame," she said.
Fini has wanted to be a filmmaker for as long as she can remember.
"I haven't looked at anything else as a career since I was seven.
"I like telling a story - it's a way to communicate that people don't usually use."
Changing people's perceptions of the world is one of the pleasures of working with film, she said.
"I like the way things look behind a camera because you can get rid of all the background things and just focus."
She found the British short film competition online, while researching potential opportunities - "I'm trying anything to break into the industry."
Hope Resurfacing was partly shot underwater with a Go Pro and some scenes were shot on a Canon D700 camera.
Fini spent about five days shooting at Onetangi and Oneroa beaches, while the weather shifted from sunshine to extremely heavy rain.
"I tried to fit that into some kind of symbolism."
She spent about two months editing the footage, before being delighted with news of her success in reaching the finals.
The theme of the competition was hope - and her success has fuelled her hopes of making it in a highly competitive industry.
Her father, Urban Escargot chef Nico Fini, and mother, commercial lawyer Melissa Fini, are understandably proud of their daughter's early success.
However, her mother has been wary about the potential pitfalls of Fini aiming for a career in film.
"At first Mum wasn't too happy about me doing film, because she said I would probably end up in a damp, mouldy flat.
"She's fully supportive now, it just took a few years," Fini said.
See https://filmcompetition.org.uk/2017-results/ to view the top films in the competition.