The New Zealand Association for Gifted Children


Gifted Awareness Week Competition 2011

Comments by one of the judges, James Cunningham, International Film Director, and 3D Course Leader at the Media Design School in Auckland.


1st: 'Dog Fighting', Grace Leney, 7, Carncot School, Palmerston North.

James Cunningham said that Grace Leney's film was a well-structured and well-researched report, which showed fantastic enthusiasm for the subject. He also commended her confident performance on screen, saying that at times Grace didn't appear to be aware of the camera.

Highly Commended: 'Metamorphosis', Arthur Miller School, Napier.

Yr. 6 pupils Arela Jiang, Shaunae Smyth, Jamie Kerley, Stevie Jones, Sam Wildbore, Ben Moran and Louie Bruhns, supervised by teacher Terry Maloney.
This amusing film about primary school students attempting to instruct their teachers in the fine arts of scooter riding, Runescape, dancing to Katie Perry's 'Firework' and trading Match Attax cards made the judges laugh out loud. James Cunningham said it was well edited, with good performances from both teachers and students.


1st: Ilminster Intermediate, Gisborne (Hana, Madison, Luke, Ewan and James).

James Cunningham said that Ilminster Intermediate's short film about a homeless boy meeting an elderly widow was convincing and held the viewer's attention well. He praised the use of costumes and different sets, the selection of shots and the filmmakers' ability to convey the passage of time effectively.

Highly Commended: 'Hunting Elmer Style', Nathan James, Avonhead, Christchurch.

James Cunningham praised Nathan James for the technical skills he had displayed in making this animated film. He said the layering of elements and the use of animation, colour and sound was very impressive for a 12-year-old.


1st: 'Gluestick - a Slice of Life', Martin Baxalle, 13, Auckland.

James Cunningham described this animated film as 'impressive' and said it would not be out of place in the portfolio of a first-year student at the Media Design School. He admired the quality of the animation, particularly in the kitchen scene, as well as the complexity of the set design, lighting, editing and sound recording - all of which enhanced the viewing experience. He noted that the level of animation in the film imbued the character, Gluestick, with a lot of personality.

Highly Commended: 'Stranded', Southland Boys' High, Invercargill.

Sahdique Mohamed, Fayez Shahbaz, Mackenzie Smith, Stanley McDowell and Eric Tan, with teacher Phil Parkinson
James Cunningham admired the mood and complexity of this film about a teenage boy becoming stranded after a drunken car crash. In particular, he praised the changes of location, the realistic shots of a car crashing, the varied lighting situations and the evocative shots of the landscape.

Highly Commended: 'What's My Name?', Moana Bennett, 14, Wellington.

James Cunningham said 'Moana Bennett's 'What's My Name?', set to a soundtrack of the song by Rihanna, was a fun film, well steeped in the techniques and tropes of music videos. He praised it for its high energy and range of shots, as well as for having a good gag at the end.

Follow us on

What's on
Getting Started
Find a Psychologist
The National Body
What do we do?
What is giftedness?
National Council
Discussion Forum

Tall Poppies magazine

Apex: NZ Journal of Gifted Education

Membership FormOur Constitution
For the Branches
- start a support group
- set up a branch
- set membership criteria
- run a clubday
- set up management systems
For Members
Library Info
Full listing of booksRequest a book

Find your way around this site
Site Map

Help! Now What!? Robyn Wilson's guide to resources for parents of gifted children