Our principals made the call to go ahead with planning the festival, in the hopes that the situation would have improved by November and it could be a face to face event, but with the proviso, we would move it to an online event if we were still required to social distance.
Our teachers and learners rose to the challenge and continued to plan their movies to contribute to the Film Festival and as it turned out we were able to host a face to face event. There was a palpable feeling of celebration as the busloads of children and teenagers arrived at the theatres and appreciated being able to see themselves, or the movie they had created, on the big screens of the three theatres we hired.
While we were slightly down on the number of movies contributed (85), we still had more than 3,500 young people attend the 12 hour festival and a full house attend the evening showcase. Around one third of the movies had a definite COVID theme, and the rest were our usual eclectic interpretation of the mission statement of the NZ curriculum and showcased confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners.
We altered our traditional style of welcome video to represent a year of distance learning through Google Meet, and re-enacted a Meet session. This brought back warm memories to all who had taught or learned in this way in 2020.
As always, the movies screened are available online at our film festival website and we invite you to view 2020 through the very positive eyes of the Manaiakalani tauira.