Institute of Technology graduate Jerry Westaway has had a
winning week with the news his short film The Green
Revolution – made as part of a Graduate Diploma in
Screen Arts – won the monthly prize for ‘Best Student
Short’ at the Changing Face International Film Festival in
Originally from Timaru, Jerry spent 2020 in
Invercargill to complete his qualification at SIT, and in
the process made and directed the documentary film – the
only student in his year focussing on this style – which he
hopes will be the first of many successes.
this will be (my career), I’ve wanted to do filmmaking
since I was twelve years old” he said.
centres around the international movement of School Climate
Strikes, but is focused on what happened locally in
Invercargill. Jerry said he researched the topic and found
it very hard to find any documentaries about the movement,
he felt this added to his film’s uniqueness.
got in amongst it, attending a climate strike and this gave
him the inspiration to make the film. He said at the time it
really felt like something significant was
“I felt like I was in the middle of
history taking place”. And it all happened in
Invercargill, perhaps viewed as socially conservative, yet
hundreds came out to make demands on climate action, he
said, adding, “…and on that same day thousands were
Aware of the global
significance of the subject, Jerry said it may be
interesting to an international audience the story takes
place in the southernmost city of the worlds’ Commonwealth
He respects the work of teenage
environmental activist, Greta Thunberg with whom he has
something in common – they both have Asperger’s
“..she calls it her superpower which is
quite an empowering way to look at it. It gives a
diverseness of opinion and view”, said Jerry.
with many projects during 2020, Covid did make things
harder, climate strikes were cancelled and Jerry had to make
compromises, but in the end it’s turned out better than he
expected. “I’m quite proud of what I’ve done” he
The film is officially selected into the film
festival, as well as considered for nomination in the Annual
Awards, held in November.
Jerry’s hoping to enter
the film into more film festivals – he said most films
have about a 2-year lifespan for entry into this type of
Dr Kathryn McCully, Programme Manager, Creative
Industries for School of Screen Arts, said it’s a strength
of SIT’s filmmaking programmes that students have the
freedom to pursue their interests.
the opportunity to make the work they are passionate about,
exploring concerns that matter to them. We are immensely
proud to see Jerry’s work showcased and celebrated”, she
Changing Face International Film Festival is in
its fifth year and not only offers the usual annual film
festival, but also bi-monthly online film festivals. They
look for diverse “thought-provoking, challenging, and
engaging films, web series, and screenplays”.