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V48 Hours Unitec Study Award

Yamin Tun.
Yamin Tun has always wanted to direct films since she was a young child. Now she is one step clos


Yamin Tun has always wanted to direct films since she was a young child. Now she is one step closer to seeing this become a reality after winning the Unitec V48 Hours Study Award.

Yamin Tun has always wanted to direct films since she was a young child. Now she is one step closer to seeing this become a reality after winning the Unitec V48 Hours Study Award.

Tun’s decision to participate in this year’s V48 Hours filmmaking competition has nabbed her the Unitec V48 Hours Study Award, which gives budding filmmakers an opportunity to study at Unitec Institute of Technology - for free.

As the winner of the award, Tun has earned herself a place in Unitec’s Graduate Diploma in Creative Practice programme, specialising in a variety of areas including directing for screen, writing for theatre, art direction and design for screen, dance technologies and scriptwriting for screen, amongst others.

Tun, who currently works with Creative NZ in Wellington, won the Unitec V48HOURS Study Award at the Auckland finals of the V48 Hours competition at the Civic Theatre last weekend.

Her dream is to make films to tell the stories of the people and cultures of the places she grew up in.

“There are a lot of stories I’ve been burning to tell for many, many years,” says Tun.

“Stories that relate to societies that I’ve lived in, the politics I’ve witnessed and the effects that decisions or indecisions have on people’s lives.”

The 33-year-old was born in Burma, but left the troubled nation at the age of two with her family to escape political unrest. Her father taught her to love art, and she watched and read profoundly, loving art house cinema from a young age.

Most of her schooling was at a British school in Hong Kong before completing a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

Since graduating, Tun has lived and worked in Italy, Hungary, New York, the Czech Republic and London where she met her partner, a New Zealander. The pair moved to Wellington three years ago.

This was Tun’s third foray into the V48 Hours event and she and her partner produced, directed and edited a ghost film called ‘Two Lost Souls’.

“I love being involved in the event - it’s an incredible mash-up of creative energy and a fantastic use of 48 hours. It really produces some astounding films considering that it’s all done over just one weekend,” she says.

On receiving the call to say she had won the Unitec V48 Hours Study Award, Tun says, “It was a bit surreal as it was 10.30 at night and I was at a party. I could hear a lot of noise in the background so I wasn’t sure if it was a joke at first but was really pleased it wasn’t,” she laughs.

“I am really excited, it’s an incredible opportunity to actually be able to study a creative practice and dedicate yourself to it completely. At the moment I have to do it on weekends.”

Tun had seen information on filmmaking programmes at Unitec while searching online about study options when she first returned to New Zealand, but then got a job working at the NZ International Film Festival which took her “on a different trajectory.”

She found out about the Unitec V48 Hours Study Award after reading about last year’s winner, Gemma Duncan.

Tun plans to enrol at Unitec in 2011 and specialise in directing.

“I love film and want to tell compelling, beautiful, human stories through the medium. I would like to direct films that describe immense societal change, the shapes of shifting generations, the ruptures of family and person.” 

Written by


14 May 2010

Interests Unitec New Zealand Here we educate people for work, in work and through work with a comprehensive portfolio of programmes extending from certificates and diplomas through to degrees and doctorates, across a wide range of professional and vocational areas.

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Alan Parr, a filmmaker whose short films made the V48 Hours national finals for the last three years running, has won the Unitec Aspiring Filmmaker Study Prize.