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NZ student’s film on plastic-eating teen selected for New York film festival

Instead of food, the main character in 'Warning' munches on plastic wrappers. Source: Film Hut

Dave, a high school student, unwraps a packet of bread to have for breakfast. But first, he throws the bread away before eating the plastic wrapper.

That’s how the short film by New Zealand’s Rosehill College student Neihana Lowe, titled Warning, begins. For the rest of the nearly five-minute long work, the plastic-eating teen goes about his day meeting school principals and going on dates, while munching on plastic.

The message is simple: “You wouldn’t eat it yourself. So don’t feed it to the world”. The final year high school project is a satirical way to get people to think more about sustainable packaging and the environment, according to Stuff.

Lowe’s documentary has been selected for the All American High School Film Festival in New York. It previously won the storytelling category of sustainable filmmaking event The Outlook for Someday as well as the Rangatahi Filmmaker of The Year at the 2017 Māoriland Film Festival.

The 4th Annual All American High School Film Festival received close to 5,000 films from 48 states and 40 countries and will reward US$750,000 in prizes and scholarships, according to its website.

Lowe, who thanked his mum for his love for the environment, said:

“I grew up learning to take care of the environment and for me, I’m spreading awareness through filmmaking.”

“For me it’s a tool to get the message out there,” Lowe says. “I want to create more awareness. These things need to be talked about.”

Erin Wheeler, who plays Dave’s date, Mindy in the film says it has made her think more about what she’s consuming: “It was a bit of a laugh at the time, we didn’t know what the outcome would be like. It’s so cool that it’s got a deeper meaning”.

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