Every year, Toi Whakaari students collaborate with screen industry professionals to produce a suite of new short films: showcasing the talent of the student body and giving those students professional-equivalent experience on high quality productions.
The 2017 school year is well and truly under way with our new students welcomed at an emotional pōwhiri at Te Whaea yesterday. Week One of term is an important period for us as we settle teina (new students) in to the school, get to know them and our second years get used to the role of tuakana (or older siblings) taking on more senior roles.
Click below for a gallery of images from the pōwhiri.
Miranda Harcourt is an award-winning actor, director, writer and acting coach. A graduate of Toi Whakaari and former Head of Acting at the school, she now works as a screen-acting coach all over the world on projects including Bridge to Terabithia (Gabor Csupo), The Lovely Bones (Peter Jackson), Top of the Lake (Jane Campion) Lion and Mary Magdalene (Garth Davis).
Most recently Miranda co-directed feature film The Changeover alongside Stuart McKenzie, who wrote the screenplay from Margaret Mahy’s acclaimed novel.
Amongst those she has coached, Miranda counts Nicole Kidman, Juliette Binoche, Anna Sophia Robb, Josh Hutcherson, Dev Patel as well as many others.
The board, staff, students and graduates of Toi Whakaari were thrilled to congratulate three of our best and brightest at this year’s graduation ceremony.
Second year acting students Puawai Winterburn (Ngati Raukawa, Ngapuhi, Ngati Porou) and Richard MacDonald (Tuhoe) were recipients of this year’s prestigious Bill Guest Awards and second year management student Olivia Chan received the inaugural Ruku Ao Award at the event on 9 November.
To help celebrate 10 years of Costume diploma graduates, Lynn Freeman from RNZ National’s Standing Room Only programme visited Toi Whakaari to talk to head of course Kaarin Macaulay and second year student Monique Bartosh about the the future of costume in New Zealand.
Heather Timms is the Director of Actor Training at Toi Whakaari. She has worked as a director, theatre maker and educator nationally and internationally (including UK, Africa, Australia and Asia). Heather recently trained with Joan Scheckel, the prolific US filmmaker, acting coach and creator of The Technique. Heather brought her work with Scheckel into her sessions with the Toi Whakaari first year actors while they worked on a block called Actor in Action. This is the second of four blocks across the first semester of Year 1 looking at foundational actor craft. We asked Heather about this work and her approach to actor training.
As of 2017, Toi Whakaari will no longer be offering the New Zealand Diploma in Entertainment Technology because of NZQA’s Targeted Review of Qualifications (TRoQ) that has made all certificate and diploma qualifications national qualifications.
The result of the TRoQ review is that there are now a number of new national entertainment and event technology qualifications in level 3, 4 and 6.