Lynfield College is leaping for joy as students’ silent film, Overexposed, takes 1st place at the International Youth Silent Film Festival held in Portland, Oregon last week.
Directed by Harry Ashley (Lynfield College class of 2019), shot by cinematographer Raymond Feng (current Lynfield student) and starring Shamir Sarif (class of 2019), the film (Noir genre) beat out 24 other finalists from around the globe, including America, Australia, Canada, The United Arab Emirates, and New Zealand. Having won 2nd place at the IYSFF NZ regional awards last October in Tauranga, the film qualified for the Global Awards alongside another Lynfield College-produced film - and 1st place winner ATTACK! Of the Death Robot - which was directed by current Lynfield College student Joseph Hisayasu.
On behalf of Lynfield College, Joseph flew to Portland to represent both films. He participated in a week of activities specially organised for the young aspiring filmmakers. The week included a tour of Michael Curry’s studio and workshop - one of the best parts of the trip, according to Joseph. Curry is an American production designer who specialises in creating large scale props and special effects, and has worked on Broadway and with Disney.
Joseph also got to chat with Tom DeSanto, an American producer and screenwriter who worked on the X-Men and Transformer franchises, as well as being escorted around all of the activities by Jon ‘JP’ Palanuk, the President and founder of the International Youth Silent Film Festival.
The trip also included a trip to City Hall, a hike in the gorge and a ride on a float in the annual Rose Parade through downtown Portland. Joseph said about the trip “It was absolutely brilliant.”
Harry, you’re an absolute legend, mate. You’ve earned this more than anybody
The week culminated with the final event which was the screening and awards ceremony for the IYSFF of 2019. The Hollywood Theater, which features a Wurlitzer organ - played live by the composer of the film scores - was filled with participants from around the world, eagerly waiting for their films to be judged live by a panel of local celebrities and filmmakers. Joseph accepted the award on behalf of Harry and his team stating “Harry, you’re an absolute legend, mate. You’ve earned this more than anybody.”
Baycourt Community & Arts Centre in Tauranga who put on the IYSFF Regional NZ competition were thrilled at the result. Manager James Wilson said he is over the moon to see young Kiwi filmmakers succeeding on the global stage. “We have loved watching these young filmmakers flourish here at Baycourt during the New Zealand leg of the festival and it is fantastic to see Over-exposed do so well against such strong international competition”, he said.
“To win honours at the International Awards will be a boost to their confidence and ambition at this early stage of their filmmaking careers. I strongly recommend keeping an eye on these names because these are the Oscar winners of the future!
“On behalf of the IYSFF NZ Nationals team we want to offer a huge congratulations to Harry Ashley, Raymond Feng and Shamir Sarif on winning first place. We can’t wait to welcome you back to Baycourt at this year’s event to celebrate your win in style!”