Making a Difference 2017 Finalists


Dear Grief – Luka Wolfgram

Clever Trevor – Sam Ridsdale

Subsistence to Sustainability – Sarah Ridsdale



Unspeakable – Alonso Benton, Vicente Ovalle

Seed Waikato – Blair Paterson

Saving the Native Birds – Lana Young

Jess Weller – Bayleigh Ward

Noa Woolloff – Bayleigh Ward

Saving the Native Birds – Lana Young

Life Matters – Sophie Ross


Jess Weller – Bayleigh Ward

Noa Woolloff – Bayleigh Ward

Seed Waikato – Blair Paterson

Saving the Native Birds – Lana Young

Seed Waikato – Blair Paterson

My Merit360 Experience 2017 – Natalie Lanfear




Irene Wakefield – Bayleigh Ward

Life Matters – Sophie Ross

Mana -Taylor Nixon

What is Making a Difference?



We live in a world with some big issues on our hands – social, environmental and economic. Sometimes the only picture we’re presented with is how stink things are. But we know there are people all over the world doing all kinds of amazing things to make the world a better place – including right here in our own backyard!

Here’s the challenge – make a film, of any genre, that’s five minutes or shorter on the theme of “young kiwis making a difference.” Whether it’s cranking a community garden, cleaning up the local beach or rebuilding Christchurch – find a person or project that you think is doing something awesome, and tell us about them!



Key Dates

JUL 7 – Submissions open
AUG 25 – Early bird entries close
NOV 6 – Regular entries close
NOV 24 – Finalists announced
TBC – Awards Night, Wellington

Entry Fee

Early Bird Entry Fee – $20 per film
(Entered before 8pm August 25)

Regular Entry Fee – $50 per film
(Entered before 8pm November 6)


First prize is $2,000 and a two day internship at Images & Sound in Auckland.

Other prizes announced later 2017.



Special AWards

The Special Awards recognise entries about young people making a difference in specific areas. If you’re stuck for an idea on what story you want to tell, these awards might act as a little inspiration. You can be eligible for more than one special award — in fact, you can nominate your entry for up to three!

Our friends at Generation Zero are New Zealand’s biggest youth-led movement for creating solutions to climate change. As a starting point, ideas for this category could include young people making a difference around clean energy, sustainable transport, local food, planting trees or campaigning.

Street art, collaborative neighbourhood murals, dance, performance, or events that bring people together in new and interesting ways – creativity can take many forms. The Big Idea is New Zealand’s biggest online creative community, and they’ll be helping us choose the special award for Creativity & Culture.

A social entepreneur recognises a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change. Social enterprises come in many forms, and the sector is a growing movement around the world. Programmes such as Live the Dream and Festival for the Future could provide good leads to help you find young people on their social enterprise journey.

Kaitiaki means guardian. Our mates at Sustainable Coastlines do an epic job of mobilising thousands of kiwis every year to be kaitiaki for the beaches we all love. They’ll be helping us reward young people making a difference for our environment, and embracing the principles of kaitiakitanga.

Leadership doesn’t always have to be about the person at the front of the room. It has many forms. Our friends at the Sir Peter Blake Trust develop and celebrate leadership among young New Zealanders, and partner with us to give out this award to young people demonstrating great leadership in action.

There are many injustices in our world, and young New Zealanders getting involved in making a difference for basic human rights at home or abroad are really important. This could include enabling access to clean water, food, and shelter, getting involved in things such as the 40 Hour Famine, or campaigning for gender equality – there are loads of options!


Powered by

Prize Partners

featured selection of past winners


Bonnie Howland
Film by Mallika Worboys & Jess Baider


 Jake Hopa If I Can Do It…..
Film by Putaruru College


 Greening the Rubble
Film by Brooke Barry and Paris Carpenter



Dog Island Motu Piu
Film by Sarah Ridsdale


Film by Scarlett Wild


Student Volunteer Army Camp Akaroa
Film by Joel Wallan

Special Awards Partners