The winning film exposes the problem of domestic violence

Powerful message. . . Ryan Worth (left) and Angelo Bush (both 14) won the Stronger Waitaki Respectful Relationships film competition for their film, Days of the Weak. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

Ryan Worth and Angelo Bush do not hide their enthusiasm.

Students from Waitaki Boys High School won the Stronger Waitaki Respectful Relationships film competition, held at Oamaru Opera House last month.

The competition involves students creating 90 second videos on the theme of ”respectful relationships”.

The 14-year-old won for their 90-second film, Days of the Weak, a pun showing the character’s weakness throughout the film.

Their silent black-and-white film begins with a young boy getting ready for the day by removing a chair blocking his door, and shows him scared of what might happen. Every day at school, he hides his bruises with makeup and then puts on his mask outside his classroom.

Ryan said the mask symbolized the character “masking his pain”. The rest of the week repeats the same pattern, until Friday when it breaks the cycle.

“At the end, he takes off the mask and dabs the mask. The whole film is black and white, but then it turns into color,” Angelo said.

The mask played an important role in the story, he said.

Ryan, who also starred in the film, said they enjoyed editing the film and it was great to win.

They each brainstormed different ideas for the film and merged them together. Ryan invented the school cycle, while Angelo had the idea for the mask.

Ryan said creating the videos helped them learn more about family and domestic violence.

”It showed us how deeply people can feel about domestic violence and how seriously people take it.”

Angelo said it also taught them how cinema can be a good way to “present” people’s feelings and difficult topics.

This was the first time the competition involved community viewing of entries.

Stronger Waitaki’s community development coordinator, Yvonne Avis, said the event was a huge success, with around 150 people attending.

She said the winning video was simple but effective.

“We never really know what’s going on behind closed doors because people put on a good face.”

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