South Seas Film and Television School reaches 25 year milestone

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

South Seas Film and Television School. Outgoing director Gerben Cath says the evolving industry requires a dynamic formula to keep up with the times, as he welcomes a new wave of creatives. 

South Seas Film and Media school is celebrating 25 years, although Gerben Cath says it hasn't always been smooth sailing.

Gerben Cath says, "There was no Government support there was no Government funding in those days and we went ahead we thought we'd try it we had 32 students sign up in the first year."

Since that time, over 3000 students have graduated from the film school alone. One of those graduates is Native Affairs reporter Wepiha Te Kanawa.

"Māori broadcasting plays an integral role in the broadcasting industry of New Zealand so they were very supportive and encouraging of Māori students."

South Seas Film and Television School was founded in 1991 by Gerben Cath, to provide practical skills for students looking to go into the industry. He says the the industry has evolved over the last decade and they've had to adjust accordingly to stay relevant. 

"We're continually having to tinker with the course and adjust it because most of the industry requires students to have quite a number of skills that they can be utilised but they still want them to have a predominant skill, a specialist skill so we mix it up."

Te Kanawa says, "Camera operation, narration, editing, you had the opportunity to learn all of those aspects."

The future is rapidly becoming more digital says Cath.

"It's big challenges the changes are coming sick and fast but we've got a lot of young tutors who are now coming in to lead the course and it's exciting to see where it'll go in the future."

The next graduation takes place on the 14th December.